Germany's Remos Aircraft has lined up a new investor to help fund a major expansion in the USA that will include 150 pilot centres and a new Florida completion factory.

Remos announced at AirVenture 2009 that UK investment firm Pall Mall Partners has acquired an undisclosed stake in the manufacturer. Remos, which is based in Germany and has a completion facility in Arkansas, will use the capital infusion to help it further grow its already leading presence in the US light sport aircraft (LSA) market.

Remos chief executive Corvin Huber says it is already the largest manufacturer in the US LSA market based on number of aircraft shipped each quarter, but acknowledges "this is hard times and those are low numbers". Remos plans to deliver 75-80 GX two-seaters this year.

The USA accounts for about half of Remos's, deliveries but Huber expects that to reach 75-80% within the next few years. He says the growth in the USA will be driven by the establishment of 150 Remos pilot centres throughout the country. The pilot centres, which are being established in partnership with local flight schools that will receive special financing to help them pay for GXs, are projected to receive 300 aircraft over the next five years.

Huber says the first 20 centres will open later this year, with 50 to follow in 2010 and 80 in 2011. Huber says the centres will help "get the word out that light sport training is available throughout the nation". Overall, Huber expects flight schools will account for about one-third of Remos's total deliveries, compared with 10% currently.

Remos' new business plan also envisages opening "Remos experience centres" throughout the USA. Huber says the concept for these centres is being developed, but the idea is to offer various "soft products" including maintenance services, hangars for storing aircraft and insurance. The first batch of three to five experience centres are scheduled to be opened in late 2009 on a trial basis and will become operational in 2010.

Remos completes US aircraft at a facility in Arkansas, which doubles as its US headquarters. But Huber says this will move to an experience centre that Remos plans to open in Florida.

Source: Flight International