Loss-making airframe maintenance firm FLS Aerospace should return to profit this year, according to chief executive Stephen Henderson.

"In the last 12 months FLS has undergone radical change," he says. "A strong international leadership team was brought in, and we increased the level of customer service, integrated various FLS acquisitions and restored the company to profitability."

FLS was profitable for the final quarter of 2000 and during the first quarter of this year, although it posted a full-year loss of $45 million for 2000.FLS has been at the centre of take-over speculation for some time, and Henderson's work is putting it in better shape to play an effective part in the continuing round of industry consolidation.


"Airframe work is the mature side of the industry - if you want to offer a nose-to-tail service you have to have a strategic relationship," he says.

FLS has announced several deals here, the biggest being a three-year contract with Federal Express covering overhaul of the airline's 727, DC-10, MD-11, A300 and A310 fleets. It will starting with B and C-checks on FedEx's A310 fleet in Europe. If these go well the contract will be expanded to the other types. The contract is important because it offers FLS a steady year-round workflow. Much of the company's present work is for European charter airlines, which like to schedule it during the quiet winter period.

In the other deals, Air Malta has contracted for heavy maintenance of two 737-300s, while Lauda Air has expanded its relationship with FLS to include the overhaul of a 737-300 landing gear set.

Source: Flight Daily News