Swiss servcie provider says outlook positive for VIP airliner conversions until 2015

Jet Aviation is seeking to secure a number of risk-sharing and strategic partnerships with suppliers in an effort to create a seamless delivery of parts and personnel and strengthen its position in the increasingly competitive cabin completions and engineering businesses.

The risk sharing partnerships are for widebody business jet and VIP airliner types only, says Norbert Marx general manager for Jet Aviation's Basle, Switzerland facility, which is home to its completions business. "The business aviation market is very strong at the moment and the outlook for VIP airliners is strong until 2015," he says. "Although we design and build a number of essential parts for the aircraft we are still reliant on suppliers for the lighting systems, galleys and seats, for example."

As the market continues to expand, Marx says its is becoming increasingly difficult to find highly skilled engineers so "we are talking to a subcontractor, familiar with Airbus and Boeing aircraft, which could allocate a number of people to our programmes".

Jet Aviation completes around 20 Dassault Falcon business jets, four widebodies and nearly two VIP airliners a year and hopes to secure around a third of the emerging 787 VIP completions business. "This year we have already completed an Avro RJ85 an Airbus Corporate Jetliner - a second will be delivered this week - and a glass cockpit-equipped 727. We have a number of other aircraft in the works including a 747-400 and an A330 and plan to take delivery of a Boeing Business Jet and a 757-200 before the end of the year, and an A340-600 in April 2008.

To accommodate this demand, Jet Aviation plans to break ground this month on a new hangar which will add 35,000m2 (377,000ft2) to the Basle facility and will be large enough to simultaneously house an Airbus A380 and Boeing 787. The facility is scheduled for completion by the middle of next year.

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Source: Flight International