Iron Maiden singer reveals a £5m investment for Cardiff Aviation
Bruce Dickinson’s Cardiff Aviation plans to expand its MRO business in South Wales and is looking into developing its own airline.
Iron Maiden singer Bruce Dickinson confirmed at the Paris Air Show this morning that his aircraft maintenance business, Cardiff Aviation, has received a £5 million investment, just two days after Dickinson played to thousands of rock fans at the UK’s Download Festival.
Following the British band’s Saturday night headline set, which included an RAF fighter jet display, Dickinson and Cardiff Aviation’s joint CEO, Mario Fulgoni, revealed that Finance Wales, a UK SME investment company and Welsh Government subsidiary, has invested £1.6 million in the company based at St Athan, South Wales. The remaining £4.4 million will be provided or facilitated by private or privately-owned investors including Dickinson and Fulgoni.
“The Welsh Government has played a fantastic role in a difficult economic environment in providing tremendous support and enthusiasm,” said Dickinson. “Finance Wales’ long-term backing is the fuel not just to put St Athan on the map, but has the potential to create a consequentially much wider impact across the entire South Wales aerospace industry.”
He added: “As for Cardiff Aviation, the first key role we plan to fill is that of commercial director. We will follow up with expansion of the operational and technical teams to address our current growth trend and increasingly lucrative contracts with both UK and international aviation businesses. We also plan to invest in more engineering equipment to supplement and enhance the already excellent technical capability at Cardiff Aviation.”
Benefit to Wales
Specialising in providing maintenance and technical support for Airbus and Boeing commercial aircraft, Cardiff Aviation has reportedly created 40 jobs since its launch in May 2012 and was described by Gerallt Jones, head of corporate and banking at Hugh James, the law firm that advised on the deal, as having a “considerable economic benefit to Wales.”
The company is also apparently interested in launching its own airline in the near future.
“Cardiff Aviation has taken over some impressive facilities at St Athan which provides an excellent base to establish a potentially world-beating business,” said Nick Larcombe, who structured the investment for Finance Wales. “[The] investment has provided Cardiff Aviation with the injection of working capital it needs to fund the next stage of its development. It is now well placed to take advantage of opportunities in its core European MRO market and as the business becomes more established there are many new revenue streams it can also develop.”
Fulgoni also added that the investment will enable the company to establish EASA Part 21 Design Approval, allowing the centre to manufacture and certify aircraft parts.
Dickinson regularly flew Boeing 757s for the now-defunct Astraeus, where he served as marketing director.
He has also piloted some high-profile flights including returning RAF pilots back from Afghanistan in 2008 and flying Liverpool and Glasgow Rangers football clubs to away matches in Europe.
Dickinson was guest speaker at the most recent Aviation Supper Club, organised by Brendan Lodge, business development director at JetBrokers Europe.