The San Antonio operation of Singapore's ST Aerospace has become the latest contender in an increasingly lucrative large business jet completions market - and is promoting its new Aeria Luxury Interiors service at NBAA for the first time after its launch at February's Singapore air show.
ST Aerospace San Antonio is one of several facilities owned by the company in the USA and focuses on heavy airliner maintenance. About 120 airliners will pass through its doors this year.
The company took the decision to diversify into VIP interiors earlier this year and has already won two contracts with unnamed customers. Ron Soret, general manager of completions, says the fact that the business can offer both mechanical overhauls and interior refurbishments gives "us an advantage over some of our competitors".
Aeria is using a dedicated 100,000ft2 hangar at the San Antonio site that ST Aerospace has remodeled to include avionics, upholstery and cabinet shops, plus new offices. The venture is being run by a core management team with employees recruited from the area or borrowed from other parts of the business.
There is also an active supply chain in the Texas city of independent workshops offering carpentry and other services. "San Antonio is a good place to establish a business like this as there is a history of completions going back to the 1970s and the right sort of skills available," says Soret.
Although the business is initially focusing on cabin refurbishments, there is an ambition to offer a completions service on green business jets, he says.