BANGOR, Maine — C&L Aerospace, an aircraft servicing and maintenance company that has been growing ever since it landed in Bangor four years ago, has joined forces with another company to purchase 14 Saab aircraft to fully refurbish at its growing hub at Bangor International Airport.
The aircraft are Saab 340Bs, 34-seat propeller planes with 70-foot wingspans.
C&L partnered with Rockton, a Swedish lessor with a lot of experience investing in Saab aircraft, to purchase the planes from Endeavor Airlines, a Delta subsidiary. It’s the largest purchase in C&L’s history, totaling about $10 million, according to CEO Chris Kilgour.
This summer, C&L workers will paint and refurbish the Saabs at its headquarters, Kilgour said. Once complete, C&L will market the Saabs for sale or lease to airlines.
On Monday, city councilors voted to give C&L a $200,000 business development loan to help the company finance building improvements.
Since arriving in 2010, the company has grown from just over 20 employees to more than 120, according to Kilgour. C&L promises more new full-time jobs once its building upgrades are completed. Kilgour foresees a total of about 170 employees working at the facility after the expansion is operational.
Kilgour has said C&L was “bursting at the seams,” with its desire to expand hindered by their limited hangar and office space.
The renovations are “practically completed,” according to Kilgour, and employees should start moving and settling in during April. The company’s new paint hangar is scheduled to open this summer.
C&L will strip each airplane down to individual parts, X-ray the fuselage, inspect everything, put it back together, renovate the interior and repaint the aircraft before selling them off.
“These will look like new aircraft,” Kilgour said.