CLEVELAND, August 1, 2023 – Flexjet Inc., a global leader in private aviation, today announced that Flying Colours Corp., a preeminent aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, is joining the Flexjet family of companies. This further expands the private jet travel industry’s most significant maintenance and product support network, with facilities in the United States, Canada and Europe supporting Flexjet’s rapidly growing fleet.
“Bringing the capabilities of Constant Aviation, which Flexjet bought earlier this year, and now Flying Colours in-house enables us to ensure both the highest possible service quality and the maximum availability of aircraft for our Owners,” said Flexjet Chairman, Kenn Ricci. “Unlike other companies in our space that rely on third-party providers for their MRO needs, Flexjet now fully controls its maintenance and product support needs, and this aligns with our strategic vision of differentiating ourselves from the competition at every level and in every way. We’re thrilled to welcome the talented Flying Colours team to Flexjet with their 40+ year history of excellence as a global leader in aircraft completions.”
Flying Colours, headquartered in Peterborough, Ontario, Canada, offers not only a full range of MRO services but also a comprehensive set of additional capabilities specifically focused on aircraft interior completions and refurbishments, as well as custom aircraft painting. Flying Colours’ highly trained technicians and staff have developed a reputation for providing the finest level of craftsmanship in the business aviation industry.
The recently opened paint and completions hangars at Flying Colours’ facility at Peterborough Airport exemplify the company’s commitment to meeting any need. The primary 40,000 square foot paint hangar can handle any size business aircraft as well as airliner category aircraft (with a secondary facility that can handle any Gulfstream aircraft up to a G650). At 61,000 square feet, the new completions hangar is among the industry’s largest, enabling Flying Colours to handle multiple aircraft simultaneously.
“One of the qualities most associated with Flexjet is our superior cabin experience, as exemplified by the more than 40 unique interiors in our LXi Cabin Collection. Flying Colours is renowned for the excellence of its paint and completion work, and this ensures that the interiors of our aircraft meet the world’s highest standards,” said Jay Heublein, Flexjet Senior Vice President of Maintenance. “This acquisition ensures that we can deliver on the commitment we made to our owners to provide the best possible cabin experience.”
Added John Gillespie, Flying Colours’ president and CEO, “Flying Colours’ relationship with Flexjet spans decades and we are looking forward to joining the Flexjet family. Our culture and focus on quality aligns perfectly and we look forward to expanding on a vision that is unlike anything I have seen before in business aviation.” Upon completion of the transaction, Gillespie will take a lead role overseeing completions strategy within the global Flexjet network.
Flexjet’s global maintenance facility footprint now includes 12 primary maintenance facilities and 30 geographically strategic AOG teams to provide field support to the fleet. This includes the new Flying Colours facilities at Peterborough Airport and at Spirit of St. Louis Airport (located west of St. Louis, Missouri).
Approximately 250 Flying Colours team members will join Flexjet. In addition, Flexjet is actively in the process of hiring nearly 200 core technicians during the current year. Those interested in exploring careers with Flexjet should visit its maintenance recruitment webpage at
Flexjet, Inc., a global leader in private aviation, first entered the fractional jet ownership market in 1995. Flexjet offers fractional jet ownership and leasing and is the first in the world to be recognized as achieving the Air Charter Safety Foundation’s Industry Audit Standard, is the first and only company to be honored with 24 FAA Diamond Awards for Excellence, upholds an ARG/US Platinum Safety Rating, a 4AIR Bronze Sustainable Rating and is IS-BAO compliant at Level 2. Red Label by Flexjet, a market differentiator, which features the most modern fleet in the industry, flight crews dedicated to a single aircraft and the LXi Cabin Collection of interiors. To date there are more than 40 different interior designs across its fleet. Flexjet is the first fractional provider of the Praetor 500. The full fleet is comprised of the Embraer Phenom 300 and Praetor 500 and 600, Bombardier Challenger 350 and 3500, the Gulfstream G450 and G650. Flexjet’s European fleet includes the Embraer Praetor 600 and the Gulfstream G650. Flexjet’s helicopter division sells fractional, lease, and on-demand charter access to its fleet of owned, operated and maintained Sikorsky S-76 helicopters which boast 55,000 hours of safe flying certified by Wyvern and ARG/US and serving locations throughout the northeastern United States, United Kingdom, and southern Florida. Flexjet is a member of the Directional Aviation family of companies. For more details on innovative programs and flexible offerings, visit www.flexjet.com or follow us on Instagram @FlexjetInc.
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Susan Ruiz Patton
Flexjet Head of External Communications
The first aircraft, a Pilatus PC-12 turboprop, was inducted at the Flying Colours Peterborough facility at the end of March, with work expected to be completed and the aircraft re-delivered in early May. A second aircraft, another PC-12, is already confirmed to arrive in October 2023. The RCMP aircraft will be painted aviation gray with a three-stripe scheme in navy blue, federal yellow and toreador red, with the organization’s insignia bisecting the red and yellow stripes. The iconic logo, which features a uniformed officer mounted on a horse, will be painted on the tail in navy blue.
The RCMP operates a fleet of 25 fixed and rotary-wing aircraft from 19 air service locations in 11 provinces and territories across Canada. Airbus H145, H125 & H120 helicopters, Cessna 206 & 208 turboprops, DeHavilland DHC-6 Twin Otters, Quest Kodiak and Pilatus PC-12 fixed-wing aircraft comprise the fleet.
The mixed aircraft will be painted in Flying Colours’ state-of-the-art paint hangar by the highly experienced paint team, which has worked in the facility since opening two years ago. The state-of-the-art facility is fully computerized and climate controlled. It features a pressurized cross-draft paint booth equipped with 168 energy-efficient lights that simulate natural daylight to optimize paint colour matches and visibility for technicians. The sanding, paint, purge, and cure application sequence reduces environmental impact through intelligently designed air recirculation and exhaust systems, decrease the amount of heat needed to operate while reducing paint emissions released into the air.
“This is a really unique project, and as a family-run Canadian company with its roots in aviation painting, we are proud to support the RCMP as they upgrade their aircraft exteriors. I know our team is looking forward to honouring the force with the highest quality work and are excited to be applying the emblematic logo onto the aircraft,” says Eric Gillespie, Executive VP Flying Colours.
Flying Colours will be exhibiting at the Canadian Business Aviation Association meeting in Calgary 11- 13 July 2023
Photo Caption: A rendering of the paint work on the RCMP PC-12 .
“The fact that we have all the services required to complete the work under one roof, technicians with thousands of hours of experience, and a state-of-the-art paint shop is a real draw for European owners,” says Eric Gillespie, Executive VP of Flying Colours Corp. “The strength of the UK and European currencies also make the trip across the pond financially worth it. The owner appreciates the value working with us brings to his operations in terms of capabilities and finances.”
The scope of work includes an extensive 16-year, 192-month inspection and landing gear overhaul. While the aircraft is down, the 12M/24M/36M/48M and 96-month items will be performed, along with any recommended Service Bulletins and Airworthiness Directives that may be due. The owner is working with Flying Colours to define the interior refresh, but minor wood repair work, an updated divan covering, and a new carpet are all under discussion. Externally the aircraft will receive a full fuselage strip and paint as a bright white paint effect will be complemented with feature gray and blue stripes along the fuselage, up the plane tail and across the rudder. The maintenance, interiors and exterior work will be conducted in parallel, which significantly reduces downtime and maximizes the budget. Flying Colours estimates the scope of work will take approximately ten weeks.
“Aircraft on the ground are not earning their keep, which is why carrying out multiple work streams simultaneously from a single supplier is a major attraction for European owners. We’re currently in discussion with a further three European aircraft owners of large jet cabins and look forward to welcoming their airframes later this year. Our presence at EBACE confirms that this region continues to be an important part of our business operations, and we look forward to welcoming new and existing customers to our Booth F40 during the show. We always return from Geneva with new business,” concludes Gillespie.
Photo caption: European customers value the multiple MRO capabilities of Flying Colours Corp.
A combination of roles will be highlighted, with openings for cabinet makers, upholsterers, painters, and decorators showcasing alongside quality control and interior installation experts. The business aims to attract willing workers who are dedicated to their craft and want to demonstrate their skills in a thriving work environment. “We have a full order book and are looking to employ workers from all sectors. Many of the skills we seek are transferable from other industries, such as the automotive trade, interior decorating, boat fitting, woodworking, and construction fields. For some roles, we are not looking for experience, just willingness to join a great business headquartered in Peterborough for over forty years,” says Director of Human Resources Ian Ross.
The recruitment drive comes when many are looking for a new career or direction, and the family owners of Flying Colours are excited to add enthusiastic talent to its diverse workforce. Recent graduates, skilled craftspeople, or those willing to learn new skills in a highly buoyant sector that spans the globe will be interested in the event. “The work we do is incredibly diverse; no two days are the same. Our team works on special mission projects creating aircraft that protect national borders, support aerial firefighting machines and medevac airframes. The aircraft we work on ensure captains of industry can keep their businesses moving forward and that sports teams and music groups fulfill their tour dates. Our work contributes to saving lives, driving the global economy, and keeping us entertained,” adds Ross. “Our team makes a difference to our world, which is why we value them so much.”
The event will be held Friday, 10 February and Saturday, 11 February, from 10 am to 4 pm at the Hampton Inn, 3900 Fisher Dr, Peterborough, ON K9J 6X6. Human resource and technical professionals will be on hand to meet prospects and discuss opportunities.
To pre-schedule a meeting, resumes can be sent in advance to HR@flyingcolourscorp.com with FCCN Careers in the subject line.
In parallel, the fuselage received a stunning new look with the application of mica-infused paint to achieve an overall sparkling effect. On completion, the airframe donned a Starlight Silver Pearl base, accented by Phantom Gray Pearl applied to the top of the fuselage, stripes, doorframe and wingtips. To achieve the look, a specialty basecoat-clearcoat polyurethane paint incorporating fine mica granules that generate a crystal-sparkling effect was applied after the priming process. The multi-faceted approach required technical expertise and intense attention to detail to achieve a stylish finish for the U.S.-based client.
The Flying Colours Corp. maintenance team has supported a continuous pipeline of heavy inspections for Global aircraft during the last five years. “We have extensive experience working on Global airframes, which means our maintenance team can anticipate common issues and anticipate unexpected requirements that may occur. This knowledge gives our clients the confidence that we conduct rigorous inspections throughout the heavy check process. We know what to look for and how to resolve any issues,” says Eric Gillespie, Executive VP of Flying Colours Corp. “The fact that we can perform the entire work scope in one location also saves them downtime and optimizes their budget.”
Each 240-month inspection involves completely stripping the aircraft down to the frame, enabling an in-depth look at the aircraft fuselage to check for signs of everything from stress fractures to corrosion, as well as other issues that may have affected the structural integrity of the aircraft.
Photo caption: Flying Colours completes a heavy check and striking paint job on Global Express.
“As the new GM, Joe will spend more time interfacing with his Peterborough colleagues and supporting the executive team to achieve uniformity of operations across our North American facilities. The goal is to share, communicate and implement knowledge about effective practices from each location, and ensure a consistent level of Flying Colours service so that no matter where clients work with us, they have the same exceptional experience,” said President and CEO John Gillespie.
Having stepped into the GM role on 1 June, Thurman is now responsible for the day-to-day operations at the St. Louis facilities. As a member of the senior leadership team, he will focus on optimizing the talent within the Flying Colours workforce to deliver projects that meet the high standards that Flying Colours is known for. “I will strive to meet the expectations of the senior leadership team, while fostering a positive working environment for all our team members. We work in a highly competitive environment, and I’m looking forward to helping Flying Colours continue to distinguish itself by setting new standards of excellence. It’s an exciting time for Flying Colours and I’m pleased to be an integral part of its future,” said Thurman.
Thurman, who has been leading MRO operations in St. Louis, has more than 40 years of business aviation experience including operations management, program leadership and completions engineering.
Photo Caption: Joe Thurman – General Manager Flying Colours Corp.
High res available on request.
The corporate shuttle interior interior will feature 29 seats, with six business jet seats and a divan at the front of the cabin and a further twenty seats configured airline style at the aft of the cabin. Gogo Avance connectivity will power passenger connectivity keeping travellers productive and entertained in flight. Further cabin comforts include storage at the fore and aft of the cabin for small suitcases and other carry-on items, as well as additional storage for small items including briefcases, purses, and laptops in the side ledges. A forward galley and aft lavatory also feature.
Externally a new fuselage paint scheme will be applied at the Flying Colours Corp. state-of-the-art paint shop in Peterborough. Each conversion made by Flying Colours Corp. is delivered with a two-year warranty, and maintenance performed by Flying Colours as required. The CRJ conversion work will be performed at Flying Colours’ St. Louis, MO. and Peterborough. ON. Facilities
With airline routes reduced due to Covid-19, many regional jets are now hangered by airlines which are willing to discuss sales for conversion purposes. “Business aviation needs an influx of available aircraft, and the airlines are looking to sell. The regional jet conversion provides an excellent choice for owners seeking a fully customized aircraft and we have seen more inquiries in the last six months than the last few years. We can adapt the design to specific budgets, while delivering an as new aircraft, inside and out, for a competitive fee. In a market where good aircraft are hard to find, and new production aircraft waiting times are long, conversions provide an excellent solution for operators who want to quickly access aircraft,” says Eric Gillespie, Flying Colours Corp. Executive VP.
Flying Colours has extensive experience in the field having already performed more than 30 regional jet conversions, along with some 15 green CRJ 200 VIP completions. Efficient re-entry into service is supported by numerous supplemental type certificates Flying Colours holds for this type. As the industry leader in CRJ conversions, Flying Colours has delivered aircraft in every possible configuration: corporate shuttle, VIP, medevac, special mission, multi-purpose and in Flying Colours Corp.’ own VVIP ExecLiner format.
Featuring a 14-seat, highly customized interior, the finished ExecLiner airframe is comparable in size with a large cabin jet, and performance characteristics of a super mid-size jet, delivering customers a spacious, mid-range aircraft for a lower cost. Flying Colours has also design engineered optional auxiliary tanks which extend range from to 2,000 NM up to 3,100 NM.
At EBACE 2022 Flying Colours will be highlighting conversion options, as well as its full range of MRO capabilities, on booth W85.
*The CRJ 200 program is owned and supported by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries
Sales and installation of the advanced antennas and aircraft base radio will be available through Flying Colours Corp.’ Peterborough, ON. and St. Louis, MO. locations. The continued strengthening of the business aviation sector is driving greater use of connected services for avionics, aircraft health monitoring, and cabin WiFi. This is increasing the demand for inflight connectivity that is dependable, immediate, and secure, and necessitating a wider variety of options for owners and operators.
“Every time we talk to a customer about refurbishment, or completions, we have the connectivity conversation. We already have extensive experience upgrading and installing connectivity equipment, and regularly advise on the most suitable options for a customer’s mission profile. Adding the SmartSky equipment to our roster brings yet another dimension to our offering as it expands the choice for those seeking an unparalleled connectivity experience that supports both the cabin, and the aircraft, in North America,” says Kevin Kliethermes, director of sales, Flying Colours Corp.
The SmartSky Networks’ flagship equipment consists of two sleek antennas and a small aircraft base radio (ABR). The antenna and radio design has been optimized for business aviation use by providing high throughput to and from the aircraft – a key requirement for today’s cloud-native applications and services. Flying Colours Corp. will be providing the entire shipset through SmartSky’s latest Early Arrival promotion, and already has equipment available for immediate installation on many STC’d aircraft types.
“We are pleased to add Flying Colours Corp. to our community of partners and share in their commitment to delivering the highest quality and performance for business aviation’s connectivity needs. Their track record of delivering exceptional aftermarket services, developing STC’s, and installing innovative systems has established Flying Colours Corp. as a sought-after provider for business aviation,” says Dave Helfgott, SmartSky Networks, CEO.
Photo Caption: Flying Colours Corp. set to install SmartSky equipment in the USA and Canada.
The approval, given on 28 October, means that a full range of regular and line maintenance work can be undertaken at Flying Colours Corp’s Peterborough-headquarters on business jets listed on the 2-REG registry. Bolstering the approval Flying Colours Corp. is also approved to undertake continuing airworthiness and maintenance work on a comprehensive set of airframes, including all those listed under its Transport Canada Civil Aviation (TCCA) approval. These include Bombardier, Gulfstream, and Dassault models, amongst others. This validation also grants Flying Colours Corp. the privilege to sign Certificates of Release to Service for 2- REG aircraft, so supporting a faster re-entry into service after maintenance work is completed.
“More and more operators are using the 2-REG Aircraft Registry for its efficient services, streamlined approach, and ease of obtaining personalized registration marks for their aircraft, so we are delighted to have attained this approval,” commented Eric Gillespie, executive vice president, Flying Colours Corp. “We can now support even more aircraft in their maintenance needs including the 2-REG aircraft falling under our TCCA approvals. For customers listed on this registry and operating in Europe or North America they now have another choice in terms of maintenance services. For reduced downtime interiors, avionics upgrades or exterior paintwork services can be conducted in parallel with the maintenance. That is very attractive to many owners, particularly in the current dynamic business aviation landscape. ”
This latest approval adds to the existing broad range of maintenance approvals that Flying Colours Corp. has achieved. Current approvals include CAAC, Cayman Islands, GACA, FAA, EASA, the Isle of Man, the State of Qatar and Transport Canada. Combined, these certifications enable the business to offer ongoing services to the growing number of private aircraft entered into these registries.
Photo caption: Flying Colours Corp. approved to conduct maintenance on 2-Reg aircraft.
During the event job seekers will be shown around the facility to learn more about one of Peterborough’s most dynamic international companies. The business is hoping to fill a significant number of roles and is anticipating that some applicants will have had experience as a paint professional in parallel industries including the automotive, boat/yachting or freight sector, while a number of the roles will be supported by on-the-job training.
Ian Ross, Flying Colours HR director said, “This type of recruitment event showcases the diversity of our business. We work on aircraft of all types from small propellor aircraft through to large private jets. Every paint job is different and requires a new approach which keeps our team engaged. With the recent growth of activity in the business aviation sector we have seen a dramatic increase in the number of aircraft passing through our paint hangar which is why we are seeking new talent to join our existing team. We’re interested in meeting everyone from recent grads who want the opportunity to develop a new career, to seasoned professionals, skilled painters, paint technicians and supervisors.”
Existing employees will be on hand to explain their roles, andmanagement will respond to specific company questions while the HR team will be accepting resumes and organizing interviews. Flying Colours specializes in the custom completion and maintenance of mid to large size business jets and is the largest tenant at the airport. The fourth and largest paint shop was opened at the facility in 2020 and accommodates any size business aircraft including Bombardier Global 7500, Gulfstream G700 types, as well as narrow body executive airliners such as the A220 or B737-900 models.
The purpose-built paint shop is designed with functionality and sustainability in mind. Fully computerised and climate controlled, the new booth is equipped with energy efficient lights that optimize paint colour matches and visibility for technicians. The sanding, paint, purge, and cure application sequence reduces environmental impact through intelligently designed air recirculation and exhaust systems which decrease the amount of heat needed to operate, while reducing the amount of paint emissions released into the air.
Those attending the recruitment fair will also be able view a business aircraft and learn about how working at Flying Colours provides the opportunity to earn a good wage, excellent benefits and enjoy career progression, while performing interesting and varied work.
The event will be held Friday 19 November from 4 pm to 7pm. To preschedule an interview, resumes can be sent in advance to HR@flyingcolourscorp.com with Paint Technician Event in the subject line.
Six single seats, two double seats and a three-piece divan were stripped down to the frames, rebuilt with new foam cushions, then sanded and painted to complement the new trims. Individual seats were covered with a new customer-selected pearl-colored leather, and the seat backs featured a contrasting textured material. Each seat incorporated a customised stitching pattern, while new seatbelt webbing completed the stylish seats.
Highlighting an increasing trend, the divan was upgraded with a complementary pearl fabric, rather than leather. Also on trend was the recovering of the cabin’s lower sidewall panels and ledges in leather. The contemporary look was r enriched with a new Ultraleather cabin curtain which was custom-manufactured and installed by Flying Colours Corp. The reupholstered front and aft lavatory seats enhanced the upgrade.
The existing flooring was removed and replaced with a smoked charcoal colored carpet to contrast with the pearl leather seat tones. The increasingly popular tones of cream and grey deliver a modern, chic look, balanced by dark veneer finishes on the bulkheads, galleys and side ledges.
“This aircraft had previously been painted by the Flying Colours crew, and the customer was so delighted that they brought it back for the interior work. Repeat business is the highest accolade we can be paid, and the gorgeous new interior is as breathtaking as the exterior,” said Eric Gillespie, Executive VP, Flying Colours Corp.
A second G650 arrived at the Peterborough workshop in October to undergo refurbishment further highlighting the company’s growing work on the American OEM aircraft types. “We work on all types of airframes, and in the last year have worked on an increasing amount of Gulfstream models whose owners appreciate that we can offer interior, exterior, and maintenance work all at one location. This reduces downtime, and with the current business aviation landscape being so busy, this is an extremely important factor for owners and operators.”
The Gulfstream G650 fuselage boasts a sparkling pearl/mica Diamond Mine basecoat surface combined with an intricate design incorporating curving stripes and complicated swirling patterns. To achieve the striking results a specialty basecoat-clearcoat polyurethane paint incorporating translucent pearl and mica granules that generate a crystal-sparkling effect was applied after the priming process. The multi-faceted process required technical expertise and intense attention to detail to achieve a fuselage that will be noticed on any ramp.
Photo Caption: Flying Colours Corp. showcases latest trends in Gulfstream G650 refurbishment.
Having undergone interior completions work at Flying Colours Corp. Peterborough headquarters in Ontario a fifth Saab GlobalEye platform was delivered from Bombardier’s Toronto manufacturing site in August. As a Bombardier Special Mission completion partner for Saab’s GlobalEye program, a dedicated Flying Colours Corp. team is responsible for the design, manufacturing, installation, and completion of the highly specified interior, which is based on the Bombardier Global 6000/6500 type. Each monument shipset is individually produced to leverage the Global airframe as Flying Colours Corp. supports Saab through the introduction of a practical, functional interior for the mission system operators.
“We have had extensive experience working on the Global family in both VIP and special mission formats and are proud to have delivered these aircraft in partnership with Bombardier to Saab. Saab’s GlobalEye project specifically showcases the high levels of technical expertise delivered by our experience, knowledge, and the exceptional talent within our team,” says Sean Gillespie, Executive VP for Flying Colours Corp.
In addition the fourth in a series of six Q400MR multi-purpose aircraft has been re-delivered to aerial firefighting specialist partner Conair. Flying Colours is responsible for the engineering, fabrication, installation, certification, and completion of four different cabin interiors to support passenger, cargo, combi-transport, and medevac special missions. On completion of the interiors, a fifth firefighting capability is equipped by Conair. The ability to easily change the aircraft purpose within a quick time frame, maximises operational efficiency and costs, in a diverse range of operating environments. The final two aircraft are anticipated to be completed in 2022.
“Medevac, VIP/combi configurations, and surveillance, are just some of the special missions’ mods we’ve undertaken for governments, military, border forces and private clients over the years. Creating a practical, functional area for a very precise task requires an intelligent approach, technical expertise and engineering talent, all of which we have in abundance,” adds Gillespie. “For all our special mission work, from small medevac reconfigurations, through to the large aircraft modifications, the original airframe is leveraged to perform above and beyond the original spec and is adapted for an unambiguous role. We effectively alter the aircraft DNA, so it becomes perfectly designed to execute a particular task”.
Flying Colours Corp. has noted an increased interest in special missions requests in the last six months for multi-purpose interiors, and the modification of regional jets into corporate shuttle interiors. In addition, it is expanding its capabilities to further support aerial firefighting in response to the growing crisis related to the spread of wildfires, and their presence globally. Gillespie confirmed Flying Colours Corp. is attending the Aerial Firefighting Conference to be held in Abbotsford, BC, 26 October 2021, in support of its partners, and other specialists, in this high demand field.
Flying Colours Corp. will be talking up its special missions capabilities during NBAA-BACE 2021 Booth 923.
Photo Caption: Saab’s GlobalEye platform benefits from Flying Colours’ special mission expertise.