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Altitude reaches new heights with first VIP completions contract

Air New Zealand subsidiary Altitude Aerospace Interiors has secured its first "green" Boeing Business Jet work, with a contract to fully fit out a BBJ VIP aircraft interior for an Asian customer.

The work will be conducted at AAI's Christchurch completion facility with support from Air New Zealand Technical Operations. The contract includes the entire electrical, entertainment and mechanical system installation in the empty aircraft shell, says Altitude general manager Michael Pervan.

Advanced engineering work for the project will start towards the end of this year, with the aircraft due to arrive in 2012, says Sue Hart, business development manager - VIP aircraft.

Altitude, which is the only Boeing recognised supplier of luxury aircraft interiors outside Europe and the USA, was established as a standalone company by Air New Zealand almost two years ago, but formally launched itself on to the green VIP narrowbody and widebody aircraft completions market at last October's National Business Aviation Association convention.

It previously operated as ANZES Design Engineering as part of Air New Zealand Technical Operations. It has bases in Auckland and Christchurch, offering interior engineering design, manufacturing and maintenance for VIP and commercial aircraft.

Altitude has completed a number of BBJ refurbishments and modifications but has been keen to secure a green completion since its formation. The commercial side of the business has also had a successful 18 months, says Hart, with several airlines signing for custom-designed products.

The business is developing as expected, says Hart, with the strategy based on a controlled growth cycle. "We wanted to build our in-house capability and experience to a level where we were confident that we could take on green completion and other complex refurbishment projects and ensure we would exceed customer's expectations," Hart adds.

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