July 1, 2014 — Excel Industries, part of Ajman-based Mesco Group, has signed a contract with Etihad Airways for a unit of Champion Ground Support Equipment (GSE).
Champion GSE is a producer of Stronghold brand of aircraft engine stands, containers and affiliated ground support equipment. Excel serves as Champion GSE’s exclusive regional representative and provides training, sales and after-sales support for Champion GSE’s Middle Eastern customers. Champion GSE unit will be used by UAE’s fastest growing international airline for various types of aircrafts in its expanding fleet, including 787 Dreamliner.
Champion GSE participated in the 14th Airport Show to explore and tap the regional aviation markets and the US-based company is confident about its Etihad Airways deal creating a cascading impact in the region in terms of new business. The company is currently holding negotiations with Emirates Airlines, Gulf Air and Oman Air to sell similar GSE units.
Todd DeVore, Vice President and General Manager of Champion GSE, said the massive growth in airlines fleet and MRO business provides ample growth opportunities for the company from the region.
Middle Eastern airlines are projected to spend $450 billion for their fleet expansion which will make the number of aircraft increasing by 160 percent to 3725 by the year 2020.
Expanding our local support for airlines and maintenance, repair and operations networks in the Middle East is one of our strategic initiatives, he said. Over time, Champion GSE and Excel will expand the repair and refurbishment program for Stronghold engine stands and containers available in the UAE, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain and Jordan.
Champion GSE units are manufactured under license from GE, one of the biggest aircraft engine manufacturers in the world. To date, more than 40 Stronghold units have been sold to clients in Europe, Asia, and America. The GSE unit costs about $200,000 and provides the highest possible degree of protection and safety for aircraft engines, which has an average weight of 14000 tons. The average price of an aircraft engine is $50 million, which calls for the best GSE facility.