Case Studies

Comlux America LLC: High-flying Style with Substance

  • Written by: Comlux America LLC: High-flying Style with Substance
  • Produced by: Comlux America LLC: High-flying Style with Substance
  • Estimated reading time: 4 mins

Comlux America LLC (Comlux America) is the American subsidiary of Comlux, The Aviation Group, a company based out of Zurich that was formed in 2003 to provide luxury aircraft chartering, maintenance and VIP completion services to private businesses and individuals. Today, the Comlux family of companies covers all four corners of the globe, operating from across seven offices, and Indianapolis, Ind.-based Comlux America represents a solid foothold in the North American markets. There are few luxury aircraft outfitters in the country, and even fewer that offer the commitment to quality, integrity, safety, security and confidentiality that defines the Comlux approach.

Comlux America was launched in 2008 to provide the best quality, most cost-effective solutions for its customer’s aviation needs, delivered from a major logistics and distribution hub in U.S. Drawing on the resources of the Comlux group the company can handle aircraft sales, acquisitions and permitting, cabin design, engineering and completion, plus professional management services, but Comlux America specializes in business aircraft cabin completion and maintenance services. “We can handle absolutely everything from the moment a client gets the idea of owning an aircraft until it’s completely refurbished in the interior,” asserts David Edinger, CEO of Comlux America.

Balancing Skill and Finesse

Comlux America offers a comprehensive set of VIP services so that customers can travel comfortably. Of course, Comlux America’s typical market segment expects the best of the best, and interior completions can quickly rack up tens of millions of dollars, so the pressure is always on for company craftsmen to perform to the highest standards of quality.

“These planes are similar to a yacht, only nicer. Our clients expect us to live up to the promises we make and we plan everything around delivering with integrity,” explains Edinger. To get the job done, Comlux America employs some of the most talented design and installation professionals on the continent and maintains on-site fabrication shops for sheet metal work, upholstery, cabinetry and even avionics. Comlux America maintains certification as an Interior Outfitter for Airbus and Boeing models, ensuring that all technicians and laborers perform to the highest requirements in the aviation industry.

Even though Comlux America is less than five years old, the company has grown quickly. Recently, Comlux America had four major projects on the books and Edinger was already preparing to operate at full capacity. This summer the firm was busy outfitting two Boeing VIP interiors and an Airbus A320, and the company is ramping up operations to work on a government aircraft scheduled to start in early 2012. “We have so much work we are actually going to be building a temporary hangar to hold us over before a more permanent facility can be built,” admits Edinger.

Comlux America activity has been ever increasing, but the company does not allow anything to disrupt the workflow within its Indianapolis completion facility. “Most completion centers are overloaded and run late as a result, but we believe that our clients should never have to tolerate an avoidable delay,” insists Edinger, who personally ensures that Comlux America management professionals light the fire on the crews’ feet to keep things on schedule.

Edinger knows what is reasonable and feasible; he brings 36 years of industry experience and started out as a trainee on the production floor. “I basically snuck into the back and convinced them to hire me and worked my way up from there,” says Edinger.

It’s Sometimes Hard to Be Popular

The future looks bright for Comlux America. The company is growing so fast to keep up with demand that updating and expanding the 60-year-old hangar that currently houses operations is imminent; a new state-of-the-art hangar is to be completed by the second quarter of 2012. The complex, which will include total surface area of 64,500 square feet, will be able to complete four narrow body aircraft simultaneously. Along the way, Comlux America estimates that business is booming to the extent that another 100 to 200 full-time jobs will be created in the coming years as the company grows. Edinger admits, however, that the company will see some serious growing pains along the way.

“There are not a lot of people who can do what we do and it’s a struggle to find the manpower. Ultimately, it’s not just about manpower. It’s about manpower and skill,” emphasizes Edinger. To aid in its search for talented individuals, Comlux America partners with Purdue University, Butler University, and other local colleges to find as much local talent as possible.

Growth for Comlux America will be a highly coordinated and controlled process. “Our business is all about balance. It’s not as simple as manning up to produce 20 of the same product,” expands Edinger. Instead, Comlux America regularly deals with regular fluctuations in manpower and compensates by calling in qualified strategic partners and outsourcing items it can’t cover in-house. All management and much of the fabrication happens on Comlux America property, but the company is in the business of delivering any request. The reality of the Comlux America model is that outsourcing to qualified experts or consultants is a regular occurrence and an added benefit to the client. Instead of trying to do too many things, Comlux America focuses on playing to its own internal strengths and leaving the rest to the expert professionals.

As new techniques and ideas are brought in to the fold, Edinger will concentrate all efforts on expanding services and delivering the comfort luxury, aka Comlux, promise. For example, the Federal Aviation Administration recently extended the company’s Gulfstream Repair Station ratings to include the G-IV and G-IVSP model types. Offering the finest in new design and VIP completion services services, Comlux America LLC will continue to develop and implement ultra-luxurious interior completions, further propelling the reputation of the Comlux, The Aviation Group family of companies.

Published on: March 9, 2013

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