AMAC Aerospace set for second phase
AMAC Aerospace, the new Swiss-based corporate/VIP completions operation unveiled at the EBACE show last May, says it is poised to start work on the second of two new hangars at Basel-Mulhouse-Freiburg Airport.
The company opened for business in November, carrying out maintenance, refurbishment and completion work on commercial and private aircraft in a first phase of new facilities comprising a 4,200 sq m double hangar, workshops, offices and a 20,000 sq m apron.
Speaking on Friday at the official opening of that development, chief executive Heinz Köhli said that a planned second phase would see the addition a widebody hangar with a floor space of around 8,400 sq m, plus more workshops and offices, added by the middle of this year. “We are working with the authorities on the necessary preparations,” he said. “Assuming that all goes well, we will invest another SwFr24 million ($21 million) in the site and then increase the workforce from the present 140 to 250-300.”
He continued: “We set ourselves an ambitious goal a year ago, and we are pleased that we have been able to start work as planned. Thanks to our lean structures and manageable size, we are more flexible than many other companies and can adapt quickly to new situations. We aim to exploit this agility as we build up business operations.”
If the second phase goes ahead, AMAC will have space to handle two narrowbodies and two widebodies simultaneously, in line with its ambition to take on European industry leaders Jet Aviation Basel and Lufthansa Technik in bidding for projects as big as the Airbus A380.
But the company is poised to turn on the tap just as the fight for business could become a struggle for survival. Set up last year against the background of a booming VIP completions market and evidence of a global capacity shortfall, AMAC now finds itself in a world where even the VIP “untouchables” are beginning to feel the pinch. Köhli and his team may find that they have their work cut out keeping their existing capacity loaded, never mind joining the scramble for widebody work that seems likely to become much rarer in the next few years.