Leading Edge Aviation Services Reports Record Year

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The company’s stripping and paint hangars take in more aircraft that any of its previous 20 years in business.

Mike Manclark, CEO of Leading Edge

Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. (LEAS), the world’s largest commercial aircraft painting company, announced it anticipates another record year of growth in 2010. This follows a year in which the company stripped and painted more than 500 aircraft, keeping its five facilities at full capacity.

As the commercial aviation market begins to emerge from an economic downturn, Michael Manclark, LEAS’ Chief Executive Officer, foresees continued growth for the company through 2010. “We will exceed our initial projections this year,” he says.

The Santa Ana, Calif.-based firm can claim consecutive growth each year of its existence. “We were especially proud to achieve record success on the year of our 20th anniversary,” says Manclark. The company celebrated its two decades of service in April 2009.

Over the past 20 years, Leading Edge has evolved from being a small California aircraft detailer to an aviation giant, serving virtually every major airline and achieving revenues totaling more than $42 million a year. In addition to painting aircraft, LEAS provides a wide range of efficient, on-call services in support of their airline customers.

Over the previous five years, Leading Edge’s highly trained workforce of over 500 employees has painted more than 2000 aircraft. Its customers include virtually every major carrier or regional airline in the U.S. and Canada, as well as a number of overseas carriers.

Although LEAS takes in large fleet-wide jobs for commercial, regional and cargo carriers, it still finds time in its schedule to complete the “one off” job. For example, in 2009 it painted one of the F/A-18 Hornets flown by the U.S. Navy’s Blue Angels demonstration squadron. The aircraft is now on public display at the San Diego Air and Space Museum.

Manclark also attributes the company’s success to its improved turn-around times in completing aircraft. “It used to take 14 days to strip and paint a Boeing 747, but we now have that process down to eight days,” he reports. “When you consider a 747 generates approximately a $1 million a day in revenue, a fast turn-around becomes very valuable and important.”

LEAS carries out its painting and fuel system support at five U.S. facilities, in Victorville, Calif.; Amarillo, Texas; Greenville SC, Miami, and Greenville, Miss. Through a partnership with Malaysia Airlines, the company also has a facility in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, where one of the projects in 2009 was painting Northwest B757s in Delta colors.

LEAS is capable of stripping and painting aircraft offsite, as well and has a full service capabilities in support of MRO’s worldwide. A specialized “Away Team” has been established to complete aircraft at customers’ facilities anywhere in the world.

About Leading Edge Aviation Services
Headquartered in Santa Ana, Calif., with facilities across the United States, Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. is one of the most advanced, commercial aircraft services companies in the world. Specializing in commercial, private, and military aircraft painting, the company also provides a wide range of commercial services, including fuel system servicing, mod-center support, contract labor, line-turn maintenance, composite and sheet metal, long and short term aircraft storage, field audits, fleet assessments, interior deep cleaning, and strip and painting services to various branches of the United States Military. For more information, visit http://www.leadingedgecorp.com.


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Amanda Ching
Leading Edge Aviation Services
714.556.0576 ext. 201
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