Switzerland-based plane proprietor and administration, constitution, and completions specialist Comlux Aviation (Sales space 3273) is assured that the Airbus ACJ TwoTwenty ordered by Dubai’s 5 Lodges and Resorts shall be delivered as deliberate in January.
Whereas the corporate stays on schedule to satisfy that objective, it’s monitoring this system at its completions middle in Indianapolis, the place the work is going down, and from its Zurich headquarters not less than two or thrice per week, stated government chairman and CEO Richard Gaona.
“While you do a completion, you might be putting in all the system,” Gaona informed AIN. “We now have confronted points with suppliers. All the trade provide chain has been and continues to be recovering from Covid. Some corporations have disappeared, others have fewer individuals. Manufacturing lead instances have modified. We now have an settlement with Airbus to finish the primary 16 ACJ TwoTwenty cabins in Indianapolis.”
Zurich is the place most main choices are taken and the place plane transactions are managed. “We’re working plane from Malta, Aruba, and Kazakhstan, however flying an excellent deal within the Center East, particularly within the UAE,” he stated. “Then comes the completion enterprise in Indianapolis.”
At this time, 23 plane are within the Comlux fleet, together with three Boeing BBJ widebodies, 5 ACJ320-family plane, one ACJ TwoTwenty in completion, two BBJ737-500s, three Bombardier World 6000s, one World 6500, two Challengers (an 850 and a 604 ), two Embraer Legacy 650s, a Praetor 600, and a Pilatus PC-24.
Latest additions have included one other World 6000 and a brand new Praetor 600. “Each will be a part of the fleet in October, for European constitution operations, registered in Malta,” Gaona stated. “In January, we’ll add the primary ACJ Two-
Twenty, and later within the 12 months, a second, after which a 3rd. We’re already providing ACJ TwoTwenty operations to our shoppers with some success.
“We assist our prospects to purchase, function, and keep their plane. It is a good alternative for us to suggest new plane and options to different shoppers.”
Retaining on Tempo
The trouble is underway to make sure that ACJ TwoTwenty components arrive on time. “Some suppliers had been alleged to ship components in September; now, they are going to arrive in December,” Gaona stated. “We needed to discover a answer to maintain this system on schedule.
“Suppliers themselves face difficulties as a result of their provide chains are in hassle. To keep away from these points, we now have a devoted group inside Comlux for procurement, planning, manufacturing, and engineering. That is the problem going through the ACJ TwoTwenty right now.”
Comlux positioned its first order for 2 ACJ Two-
Twentys in 2020, then added two extra in early 2022. “Our first three positions are bought; the subsequent is below gross sales course of, due for supply within the first quarter of 2025, somewhat greater than two years from now,” Gaona stated. “Whereas Comlux has 4 slots and has already bought three, Airbus has additionally bought a number of of those plane to their shoppers.”
Gaona defined the method of executing a completion. As soon as the cabin is put in, the plane is faraway from storage for a primary check flight, the place all of the cabin methods are disconnected, to make sure the plane is working correctly. Techniques are then examined on the bottom and extra check flights happen.
“The aviation authorities test that the airplane will be licensed and are in everlasting contact with our design group approval unit,” Gaona stated. “Then the shopper inspects the plane and the cabin, to be sure that all the pieces is working.”
Comlux employs greater than 500 individuals from some 40 nations in seven corporations at workplaces and services in Switzerland, Hong Kong, the US, Kazakhstan, Aruba, Malta, and the UAE. It gives a alternative of airline or constitution air working certificates, and, having gained IS-BAO Stage 3 accreditation, has adopted trade finest practices. All plane administration features are built-in in-house.
An organization backgrounder stated Comlux has accrued 100,000 flight hours on greater than 50 managed plane and has experience on 22 plane sorts manufactured by eight OEMs. All Comlux pilots are captain-qualified, and no first officers are on its roster. Flight crew administration and lead captains every have greater than 11,000 flight hours in whole, on common.
Indianapolis Hub Buzzing
Primarily based at Indianapolis Worldwide Airport, Comlux’s huge completions middle gives 157,000 sq ft of hangar house and might deal with each narrowbody and widebody plane. “All technical disciplines and fabrication again retailers are built-in below one roof,” the corporate stated.
The middle has delivered 14 completions, together with the ACJ320neo and the BBJ Max. It performed the first-ever completions within the trade on the ACJ320neo, ACJ321, and BBJ Max 8, it stated.
In December, Comlux’s first ACJ Two-
Twenty performed a profitable pre-completion flight in Mirabel, Canada, and in January it arrived at Comlux Indianapolis for completion.
It was bought to Resort 5 in Dubai final 12 months, in a deal that was communicated to the market. “We now have bought the opposite two to a non-disclosed buyer; the supply of the number-two inexperienced plane [to Indianapolis] will happen in October this 12 months,” Gaona stated. “The subsequent one will happen within the second quarter of subsequent 12 months. We’re steadily transferring from three to 4 plane a 12 months.”
Gaona expects that if the ACJ TwoTwenty program continues to achieve success, there shall be a requirement to accommodate as much as six plane a 12 months at a sure cut-off date if Airbus needs to supply extra. “It is an attention-grabbing program and it’ll maintain us very busy from 2022 on,” he stated.
Along with its three plane, there are others that third events have bought instantly for 2024. “I can not inform you what number of,” Gaona stated. “They could talk what they’ve bought, however that is their resolution. Comlux has bought the primary installment. Then there’s a batch of plane for Airbus. Then we now have one other one ourselves in 2025.”
Gaona makes clear that Comlux will not be an Airbus reseller or a dealer. “We’re a group reselling Comlux’s personal slots, purchased speculatively, as we now have all the time accomplished. Comlux has purchased a complete of 26 plane from Airbus. Proper now, there are most likely solely two that we nonetheless personal.”
Comlux is promoting a complete bundle—airplane plus cabin—earlier than the plane is prepared for supply, however nonetheless in its inexperienced state. The corporate takes title to the plane and doesn’t switch this till after manufacturing. “We maintain possession somewhat longer,” he stated.
“It is corresponding to how the leasing corporations function: when an organization involves Airbus or Boeing, it orders a batch of airplanes, usually with out figuring out to whom they are going to be leased. That is nearly what we do: we purchase and resell planes, however we do not lease them. That is our enterprise. Our mission is to not maintain inexperienced plane in our fleet, however to resell them previous to entry into service.”
On the similar time, the corporate can also be an Airbus buyer. “We act as a shopper and are handled like a shopper,” he stated. “When the plane is prepared for supply, our obligation is to pay Airbus.”
Comlux sees itself as a risk-sharing associate to Airbus on the ACJ TwoTwenty cabin. “We now have financed cabin improvement prices and labored with Airbus to develop the very best cabin on this market phase at a aggressive value,” he stated. “We’re greater than a associate. We do that as a result of we imagine in the way forward for the ACJ TwoTwenty program. This market has large potential—200 to 300 plane.”