First Class Air Support Invests in Services for Aircraft Inflatables

Credit: AVI Aviation/Aviation Inflatables

Aircraft components distributor First Class Air Support is expanding its portfolio of offerings with a new aftermarket partnership. Through an investment by private equity firm O2 Investment Partners, First Class is partnering with Aviation Inflatables and Survival Products.

Headquartered near Fort Lauderdale Airport, Aviation Inflatables is an independent evacuation slide, raft and life vest MRO facility. It is a licensed FAA and EASA repair station, aftermarket distributor, and parts manufacturer approval licensee and manufacturer. It also holds onsite designated engineering representative repair capability. Its sister company, Survival Products, manufactures life rafts and related products for general and corporate aviation. The companies operate under holding company AVI Aviation and currently support a wide range of airline, MRO and supply chain customers, including Delta Airlines, Embraer, FedEx, GA Telesis, Rossiya and Satair.

According to First Class, the partnership will enable it to expand and strengthen its services and support. “We believe there are significant revenue synergies, with an opportunity to bring superior value and innovative solutions to a broad set of cargo freighter and commercial aviation customers,” says Isac Roths, CEO of First Class Air Holdings.

German Alvarez, founder and president of Aviation Inflatables and Survival Products, says the partnership will allow the companies to grow their geographic presence, make strategic investments and enhance capabilities for customers.

“The combination of Aviation Inflatables, Survival Products and First Class Air Holdings is highly complementary, adding proprietary MRO services, exceptional engineering capabilities and new customer relationships to the platform,” says Charlie Miller, a senior associate at O2 Investment Partners.

The private equity firm first partnered with First Class Air Support in Feb. 2020. At the time, Roths noted that the partnership would help First Class Air Support’s growth plans.

“We have built strong and lasting customer relationships and would like to enhance our level of service through strategic inventory purchases and acquisitions of other aviation related companies to broaden our offerings,” said Roths in a written statement. “We have an aggressive plan to expand our MRO capabilities, through our newly formed entity First Class MRO, supply partnership, and end-market presence.”

According to First Class, Aviation Inflatables and Survival Products will continue to operate under their existing management teams from their 134,000 ft.2 facility in Sunrise, Florida.

First Class Air Support is headquartered in Louisville, Kentucky with global locations in Miami and Pensacola, Florida; Victorville, California; Istanbul, Turkey and Hove, UK.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.