More of the 50-seat aircraft parked by regional airlines are becoming candidates for conversion by Flying Colours into VIP ExecLiners – especially for customers in Asia Pacific.
Cultural reservations about pre-owned aircraft are giving way to the lower costs, customization and large cabin of a Flying Colours ExecLiner, says Eric Gillespie, executive vice president for sales and marketing. His company takes the CRJ200 and outfits it with interior and long-range fuel tanks, just as it would in completing a Challenger 850, which is based on the same airframe.
Customers can find used CRJs with 18,000-25,000 hours in service for between $3 million and $5 million, and for another $10 million to $12 million they can have them restored to as-new and converted to Challenger 850 spec, says Gillespie. In comparison, an 850 costs more than twice as much, at about $26 million after completion.
Flying Colours has completed 12 conversions of ex-airline CRJ200s to ExecLiners. The first B-registered ExecLiner conversion for China will be delivered this spring; another is in service in Indonesia, with an order for a second for the same customer.
Talks are ongoing on “multiple” CRJ200 conversions for China, says Gillespie. “We’re in discussions with two or three groups; eventually they want to do the conversions in China.”
Meanwhile, a Malaysian company has taken delivery from Flying Colours of its first 16-seat VIP shuttle conversion of a CRJ. Three more will be delivered in the next several weeks, and another four by the end of the year. Gillespie said contractually he could give no further details, but ShowNews has reported previously that the aircraft are destined for Caterham Jet. A project ofboss Tony Fernandes, the airline will use the shuttles to link destinations in Southeast Asia.