Is the aircraft refurbishment industry growing with used aircraft sales activity? What is popular with operators updating their cabins at this time? AvBuyer talks cabin refurbs with F/LIST’s Werner Kartner…
Plenty has been said about the used aircraft sales marketplace emerging from the post-recession doldrums lately. While market optimism seems to be growing, just how far-reaching is the good news?
Seeking answers, AvBuyer caught up with F/LIST, a family-owned business headquartered in Thomasberg, Austria that works in close cooperation with major completion centers in Europe and North America.
Manufacturing custom interiors for numerour OEM business jet cabins, as well as VIP cabins of narrow and wide-body aircraft, F/LIST draws from decades of experience in the yachting sector and its heated stone flooring product won the German Design Award 2018 for outstanding product design, as well as the newly established German Innovation Award.
Werner Kartner, CCO of F/LIST took time to offer perspectives on the aircraft completions and refurbishment industry at this time...
Werner Kartner, CCO, F/LIST
AvBuyer: Rather than selling their aircraft at a low price, during the post-recession years we were hearing that larger numbers of aircraft owners and operators chose to make the most of the aircraft they had. How did that impact the types of aircraft refurbishment requests you were receiving?
Kartner: We saw a massive drop in the number of full-cabin refurbishments being undertaken. The majority of business aircraft owners and operators were investing in a minimum standard of refreshment and repair.
This was a reflection of the lower prices they would realize through an eventual aircraft sale in the down-market, or that they were planning on keeping their aircraft functional for their own use while they awaited an upturn in the market. Fewer owners saw potential for return on investment in a full cabin refurbishment during that time.
AvBuyer: Now that the market is shifting towards a sellers’ market again, are you seeing any changes to the types of projects you’re discussing with owners/operators?
Kartner: Looking back over the last two years, there was definitely an ongoing decrease in the number of cabin refurbishments. However, during 2018 business has been catching up again. There’s certainly growing demand as operators seek to increase the value of their aircraft.
Naturally they’re looking to invest in technologies and comfort aboard their aircraft. These are areas that can help their jets stand-out from the competition in the used aircraft marketplace, giving them an edge in what’s definitely swinging towards being a sellers’ market.
Photo Copyright - F. LIST GMBH
AvBuyer: What are the popular colors and materials being used in cabin refurbishments currently? Surely neutral colors help a jet to sell more easily if that’s what’s motivating the increase in refurbishments…?
Kartner: Not necessarily. We see a lot of color variances across our regional business target areas. In fact, the extensive choice of colors and materials opens new possibilities in cabin outfitting.
Innovative flooring products (such as the stone flooring and wood flooring we offer – both with integrated optional heating system) are very popular.
Again, this is evidence that owners are interested more in comfort than functionality now the post-recession downturn is behind us. Meanwhile, those looking to sell are again seeking options that will make their aircraft sell more quickly, at a price more closely aligned to their expectation.
Photo Copyright - F. LIST GMBH
AvBuyer: What are some of the developments and trends worth following within aircraft refurbishment that could revolutionize the industry in the future?
Kartner: We at F/LIST are focusing on research and development of individual aftermarket products. The fact that the OEM life-cycle on cabin refreshments and updates is between five and eight years offers plenty of scope to introduce new products and technology earlier in the aftermarket than on new programs.
We certainly see increased demand to integrate what is common in the residential market into the aircraft cabin, with a special focus on lighting, and entertainment integration and solutions.
More information from https://f-list.at/en