“When you get into the larger aircraft it becomes like a hotel, with dozens of staff supporting the plane based in a galley area down below. You have very comprehensive cooking facilities, and on larger aircraft we have looked at theatres, with spiral staircases and a Steinway grand piano. The limitations for what you can put inside a plane are pretty much the limits of physics, and even money cannot always overcome that. Even so, people are still always trying to push [the limits]. ”
Completion and Refurbishment Centers 2011
In the past couple of years, the recession has caused independent completion and refurbishment centers to compete for business the way mall shoppers vie for parking spaces in the week before Christmas.
But things are changing. With a global economic recovery in sight, the business aviation industry is seeing signs of a rebound. Total flight hours are climbing steadily; charter and fractional ownership business is increasing; the used-aircraft-for-sale inventory is shrinking; and even new-aircraft sales are showing signs of life. The result is that the workload at cabin completion and refurbishment shops is increasing, and so is the cost to clients.
Independent centers are already seeing available slots dwindle as customers purchase low-time used aircraft and bring them in for a minor or major refurbishment. At the upper end of the scale, demand for single- and twin-aisle airliners, from Airbus A319s to Boeing 747-8s, is already growing faster than completion slots become available.
In light of these developments, it is a wise owner who gets out ahead of the power curve by reserving a slot with a manufacturer-operated or independent completion or refurbishment center well in advance. This list includes those centers, as well as independent exterior-paint shops.
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