Comlux and Texel Air give Middle East MRO VIPs a boost
Comlux and Bahrain-based Texel Air has signed a multi-million dollar agreement to provide its Middle East customers with dedicated MRO line maintenance, cabin upgrades and refurbishments on their VIP aircraft.
While Texel Air will provide hangar, maintenance and certification services through its 3,200 m2 facility at Bahrain International airport, Comlux will take care of system upgrades and cabin modification services by hiring high-skilled local craftsmen and engineers, managed and assisted by Comlux America experts on-site.
The new Service Center will provide top of the range quality maintenance and refurbishment works on ACJ and BBJ narrow body aircraft. Texel Air, who already owns a Bahraini Part 145 approval, is expected to get its EASA Part 145 by Q3 2016. Last year, Comlux America was granted the warranty and repair facility approval by BBJ and became the first independent ACJ authorised service centre worldwide.
The agreement with Texel is designed to cut costs and time for Middle East clients requiring work done on their aircraft, said Comlux president and CEO, Richard Gaona.
He added: “Our strategy was to have a place in the Gulf Cooperation Council [states] to avoid a client having to travel too far for jobs that aren’t too big, such as installing satellite communications or changing cabin materials.
“We discussed this with Texel and the agreement is that, when we have a job for a client in the region, we will bring the aircraft to Texel and perform the job in Bahrain.”
The agreement, which is for a minimum two years and which Gaona anticipates will be worth a minimum $10-20 million a year, marks an expansion of Texel Air’s activities.
“We’ve been in operation as an airline and maintenance facility since 2013, said Texel CEO Fraser Currie. “To date, we’ve been focused on our airline operation… but our strategic plan is to be able to expand and give a capability within the region. So, with the vast capability and expertise of Comlux America, we have the facility and local presence. We are now actively looking to schedule the first aircraft.”
At present, Texel Air handles Boeing 737 and Airbus A320 family aircraft.
Bahrain’s Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications is fully behind the new venture, added Currie. “It’s a very specialised environment we operate in, but this in time will give the opportunity to develop local engineers. Texel has around 50 personnel at present, with 10% of those Bahrainis, and is looking to expand that number.
“Fraser Currie, CEO Texel Air, said “We are delighted to be expanding our capabilities and bringing new business and employment opportunities to Bahrain. This opportunity continues to demonstrate our commitment to bringing world class services to the region. ”
The Ministry of Transportation and Telecommunications’ Civil Aviation Affairs has supported the growth of the business aviation segment in the Kingdom of Bahrain and this partnership is an example of the benefits such partnerships can bring to the local economy.
Richard Gaona and Fraser Currie arrive at the Dubai Airshow after signing the VIP deal