VIP cabin refurbishment will be the main growth area for Riyadh-based maintenance provider Alsalam Aircraft over the next few years.

The company has thus far refurbished two Lockheed C130s for the Saudi Arabian government, with work having begun on a third transport.

Rather than completing the cabins of new or converted passenger aircraft, chief executive Mohammed Fallatah believes that the bulk of the VIP work will lie in refurbishing existing equipment. "There are a lot of older aircraft across the Middle East and North Africa region, particularly in the Gulf nations, which need upgrading," he said.

Alsalam Aircraft VIP C-130,

 © Billypix

Alsalam has refurbished two C-130s for Saudi Arabia

Over the next two to three years, he expects to refurbish the interior of three to four other VIP aircraft. Upgrading avionics is another area where he sees opportunity for future custom.

Fallatah expects total revenue to increase by "no less than 10%" over the next two to three years, although he concedes that profits will grow at a slower pace.

Sales with the military sector will grow faster than on the commercial side, he said. The company has won a three-year heavy maintenance contract with the Saudi Arabian government for approximately 20 C130s and could be selected to assemble wings and forward fuselages for F-15 fighter jets, but this has not yet been decided.

For the commercial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business, Fallatah expects only slow growth due to strong international competition and low margins in the airframe MRO field. Nevertheless, the company plans to add Airbus A330 support to its existing A300, A320 and A340 capability list next year.

Source: Flight Daily News