Despite the current economic downturn, investment by the Singapore-based owners of Piper Aircraft, Inc. has enabled the company to move forward on many fronts, from the formation of a new company focused on Asia/Pacific initiatives, to accelerated development of its PiperJet, PiperSport and other products, company officials said at the Singapore Air Show last week.
“The Imprimis acquisition was a major milestone for us – one that is a boon for the company and its future,” said Piper President and CEO Kevin Gould. “Over the years, Piper has had many owners, but few saw the strategic value of this iconic company. Now, with Imprimis and its strategic sense of what Piper can be and how it can grow, we have owners the likes of which we haven’t seen since the days when Bill Piper owned the company.”
Imprimis — a corporate finance and investment management firm that operates from offices in Singapore and Brunei Darussalam – acquired Piper last year with a pledge to take the company to new levels of performance.
“We are making major commitments to expanding our business and providing top quality aircraft and service throughout Asia/Pacific,” said Mary Messuti, managing mirector, Piper Aircraft Asia. “We have made huge inroads in establishing ourselves in the Asia/Pacific market, and our expectation is to continue significant growth in the region.”
- The formation of Piper Aircraft Asia, with headquarters in Brunei Darussalam;
- Plans to set up sales and service operations in the Pacific/Rim and China/adjacent locations;
- Establishment of a flight training academy in Brunei; Requests for Proposals (RFP) are out now with decisions expected soon;
- Debut of the PiperSport; and
- Establishing Aviall Services, Inc., a subsidiary of The Boeing Co., to be Piper’s global parts distributor, providing supply chain support for the company’s global dealer network and individual customers.
Prior to its acquisition by Imprimis, Piper – as has been the case with many companies – had to scale back on the scope and timing of its research and development programs. Now, however, the company is back on track with full development of the PiperJet and other product initiatives.
“Development of the PiperJet, as well as other new products and innovations, is crucial to Piper’s long-term growth strategy,” said Gould, “and Imprimis has earmarked funds to ensure that we move forward on these vital programs.”
Proof of that commitment is evident in Piper’s hiring of more than 50 engineers as it ramps up the jet development program, company officials said.
“We are in the process of hiring engineers at all levels – from senior to entry-level professionals – and across all engineering disciplines, including structures, systems, flight test, and manufacturing,” Messuti said.
Piper executives note the company is well on its way to international expansion of dealer bases throughout Asia, Pacific/Oceania, the Middle East, Europe, Africa, Central America and Caribbean regions. This expansion is in keeping with the company’s new strategic growth plan.
In acquiring Piper, Imprimis cited international expansion as a top priority, particularly in Asia, where general aviation sales are set to rise beyond their current global share of 5%. Piper sees significant opportunities as analysts are predicting steady growth in sales of two-, four- and six-seat aircraft over the next five years – the result of shifting demographics and increasing demand for pilot training from training schools and flying clubs.
For more information: Piper.com