Jet Aviation is restructuring its services business with the sale of two key European locations to . The Wichita manufacturer signed a letter of intent to acquire Jet Aviationâ€™s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in Zurich, Switzerland and Dusseldorf, Germany.
The sale, expected to be completed by the end of this year, would not include the fixed-base operations at those locations. The companies did not detail terms of the acquisition.
Jet Aviation, which had spent the past couple of years reviving its struggling completions business, has more recently experienced a downturn in its services division as demand from Europe dipped.
Jay Johnson, chairman of Jet Aviation parent, in October told analysts the business was confronting â€śoverhead absorption issues exacerbated by the European debt crisis, which is impacting aircraft utilization and service work across the continent.â€ť
Johnson added that Jet Aviation executives were â€śworking aggressively to address this dynamic situation by optimization of our repair services footprint...with particular focus on right-sizing facilities located in slower markets and investing in our facilities and customer outreach in growth markets.â€ť
Jet Aviation will continue to provide MRO services from its operations in Basel, Switzerland; Dubai; Singapore; and St. Louis.
Both the Zurich and Dusseldorf facilities, which were founded in 1969 and 1975, respectively, already are equipped to service Cessna Citation aircraft. In fact, Cessna just renewed their status as authorized service facilities this fall.
Cessna will operate the facilities as Citation service centers.
The acquisitions come as Cessna has made a concerted effort to expand its support footprint in Europe. Recently, Cessna has acquired a new facility in Doncaster, U.K., and opened a new center in Valencia, Spain. These joined Cessnaâ€™s existing service centers in Paris and Prague.
â€śThe two Jet Aviation maintenance operations fit perfectly within Cessnaâ€™s strategy to grow its global presence,â€ť says Joe Hepburn, Cessna senior vice president, customer services.
Cessna, which estimates that more than 1,000 Citation business jets operate in Europe, notes the Zurich and Dusseldorf facilities are strategically located where a majority of Citations in the region are based.
The facilities increase to seven the number of international Cessna-operated Citation Service Centers.