French paint specialist Mapaero has signed an aircraft paint distribution agreement with Atlanta Aviation International (AAI) as part of its focus on international growth. Under the agreement, AAI will act as an interior coatings distributor for Mapaero in North America, with a focus on airlines, MRO and VIP completion markets.
“With our newly created partnership, we both look forward to offering unmatched service to our customers, with U.S. stock, short lead time and color matching capability,” says Gaetan Guibert, North America director for Mapaero.
Under the agreement, AAI will have a full tint line at its Atlanta, Georgia location to make top coat colors on-demand. These will include Mapaero’s FR2-55 water-based fire retardant topcoat for aircraft cabin interiors, which the company says is a best seller. AAI is planning to have the tint line operational by November 2018, but in the meantime orders placed with the company will be shipped from Mapaero’s corporate office in Pamiers, France.
“With AAI setting up this tint line, we can achieve quicker turnaround times on custom colors and offer turnkey paint/application services,” says Michael Thatch, vice president of AAI. “Airlines and MROs will also see cost savings by shipping from Atlanta,” he adds.
According to Guibert, AAI will complement Mapaero’s existing network of distributors across North America, which are focused on the company’s line of structure coatings products. He adds that AAI’s Atlanta location will enhance Mapaero’s presence in the eastern region, since Mapaero’s American office and its structure distributor are both located on the west coast (Seattle and Los Angeles, respectively).
Earlier this month, Mapaero CEO Eric Rumeau told Inside MRO that Mapaero is looking to grow via production extensions in North America and Asia. Although he did not share specifics about other future distribution agreements, Rumeau says Mapaero looks to find a “strong, likeminded partner every time.”
“Asia and North America remain territories with tremendous growth opportunities for Mapaero,” says Guibert. “We will continue investing in these regions to ensure we have the resources to support our customer needs.”
Mapaero opened its Singapore office in 2017 and incorporated Mapaero HK in Hong Kong earlier this year. According to Guibert, Mapaero has several new products in the pipeline that could potentially generate enough business to justify a manufacturing plant overseas in the next few years.