Flying Colours has signed an agreement for a CRJ 200 regional airliner conversion.
The new client, a charter operator, anticipates using the aircraft to satisfy rising charter demand from corporate customers, sports teams and music group tours, and to strengthen its fleet portfolio at a time when business aircraft are in high demand.
The corporate shuttle interior will feature 29 seats, with six business jet seats and a divan at the front of the cabin, and a further 20 seats configured airline style at the aft. Gogo Avance connectivity will power passenger connectivity. There will be storage at the fore and aft of the cabin for small suitcases and other carry-on items; and additional storage for small items in the sideledges. A forward galley and aft lavatory also feature.
A new fuselage paint scheme will be applied at Flying Colours’ paint shop in Peterborough, Canada. Each conversion made by the company is delivered with a two-year warranty, and maintenance performed by Flying Colours as required. The CRJ conversion work will be carried out at the company’s facility in St Louis, Missouri, as well as in Peterborough.
The company said that with airline routes reduced owing to the impact of COVID-19, many regional jets are now hangared by airlines, and a number of them are willing to discuss sales for conversion purposes. “Business aviation needs an influx of available aircraft, and the airlines are looking to sell,” said Eric Gillespie, executive vice president at Flying Colours. “The regional jet conversion provides an excellent choice for owners seeking a fully customised aircraft and we have seen more enquiries 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.”
Flying Colours has already performed more than 30 regional jet conversions, along with some 15 green CRJ 200 VIP completions. The company said efficient re-entry into service is supported by the numerous STCs it holds for this type. Flying Colours has delivered aircraft in every possible configuration: corporate shuttle, VIP, medevac, special-mission, multipurpose and in its own VVIP ExecLiner format.
The ExecLiner programme provides a 14-seat, highly customised interior. Flying Colours said the finished ExecLiner airframe is comparable in size with a large cabin jet, and performance characteristics of a super-midsize jet. The company also has design-engineered optional auxiliary tanks to extend range from 2,000 nautical miles up to 3,100 nautical miles.
The CRJ 200 programme is owned and supported by Mitsubishi Heavy Industries.