British aviation company AJ Walter Aviation (AJW), which specializes in repairing and supplying aircraft spare parts and has facilities in London, Dubai, Singapore and Miami, has made the former Aveos plant near Montreal its headquarters for global repair and overhaul services. In an announcement, AJW said that the new Montreal facility, AJW Technique, will become a centralized hub for the AJW repair supply chain, and will provide component repair and overhaul services to more than 800 airlines in more than 100 countries.
AJW Technique now has 40 employees, some of whom worked at Aveos, the now defunct heavy aircraft maintenance division that served Air Canada’s fleet from 2007 until its bankruptcy in 2012. Eventually, there will be over two hundred workers at the plant, repairing aircraft engines, fuel pumps and other components. Union workers hope that as many former Aveos workers as possible will be recalled to work at AJW Technique. More than 1,800 Aveos workers in the Montreal area lost their jobs when the business folded, as well as 800 in Winnipeg and Mississauga.
AJW referred to Quebec as having “one of the best industry-specific engineering skill bases in the world.” The company president, Christopher Whiteside, said that the kind of service his company provides was not formerly available in this market. “We believe we have a strong opportunity to grow our group in North America, which is of course the world’s biggest market,” said Whiteside.
The new venture has financial backing from the FTQ, Quebec’s main labour organization, which invested $12 million in the business. The provincial government also put up $ 7 million in loans and grants, calling it “a great opportunity for Quebec.”