Texas-based DFW Instrument and Red Aviation have just combined to form a new business entity called DFW Aviation, which aims to corner an opening in the business and general aviation markets for third-party aftermarket support.
The two companies, which were originally brought together in mid-2015 after being purchased by the same private equity group, decided to officially combine into one business unit in March 2018. The merger entailed relocating Red Aviation’s business and staff from its location in Georgetown, Texas to DFW Instrument’s facilities at Addison Airport (ADS), which is strategically located between the DFW and Dallas Love Field airports. The company added new office space and a second hangar, giving it around 20,000 sq. ft. of adjoining hangar space as well as room to build a new structure shop.
According to Josh Abelson, CEO of DFW Aviation, the decision to combine both companies came from the desire to reduce overlapping markets and customers, streamline the company’s focus areas and create a new ability to provide a one-stop-shop opportunity to customers. Abelson says Red Aviation had primarily focused structural repairs and parts on business jets while DFW Instrument was largely specialized in instruments and avionics, so the merger provides DFW Aviation with a bigger repair footprint and broader service offerings for a “smoother, more satisfying experience.”
Additionally, says Abelson, the merger benefits from the Dallas/Fort Worth area’s large aviation market. In addition to servicing Bombardier and Cessna aircraft, the company’s maintenance side will focus heavily on Beechcraft King Air aircraft, which Abelson says are particularly prevalent in Texas. He adds that previously, operators were needing to leave the state to maintain the aircraft type since there were not any local companies focused on it.
“One of the things we’ve been working on for the last couple of years is this business and general aviation aftermarket that hasn’t had all the benefits of programs, products and services that the commercial market has had,” explains Abelson. “Now you’re seeing the OEMs really push customer service and increasing your customer service center footprint, but there hasn’t been anybody on the aftermarket side to step up and try to offer something different, so we’re trying to be that guy.”
Abelson says that up until now, the business and general aviation industries have been very reliant on OEMs for support, so the company is hoping to provide new alternatives to the market segment. Moving forward, Abelson says DFW Aviation plans to grow its programmatic service offerings for the operator community, such as supply chain solutions, component leasing, inventory pooling and a more robust exchange program.