With consistent schedule performance and corporate quality finishes, Leading Edge is positioned as a unique hybrid painting company and leader in the industry.
Costa Mesa, California – May 1, 2013 – Leading Edge Aviation Services (LEAS), long known as the largest commercial and military aircraft painting company in the world, is increasingly being recognized as a unique hybrid in the aircraft painting industry, boasting the highest levels of quality with streamlined efficiency on high volume aircraft fleets.
“Unlike our competitors, Leading Edge is well versed in numerous segments of aviation. We paint for the major commercial airlines including American, United and Delta, executive transport and military, corporate aircraft owners as well as the original equipment manufacturers such as Boeing,” said Mike Manclark, CEO of Leading Edge Aviation Services. “Our experience in the high-end aspect of the market has allowed us to integrate skill sets and processes into the commercial aircraft painting arena while maintaining the most consistent on time performance metrics in the industry. Leading Edge is truly synonymous with Corporate Quality with Airline Efficiency.”
Leading Edge was recently able to illustrate this reality in emphatic fashion. Earlier this year, Leading Edge secured a long-term contract with American Airlines to paint multiple aircraft model types in the new American livery. Contracted to strip and paint American’s Boeing 777-300’s in eleven days, Leading Edge exceeded expectations and delivered aircraft in both February and March with seven and nine day turn-arounds, well ahead of schedule while still maintaining the highest of quality. Likewise, in the Fort Worth, Texas facility, Leading Edge recently delivered a beautiful VVIP BBJ aircraft in a record seventeen days. Industry competitors often take four to six weeks for a comparable paint job.
“Aircraft painting companies tend to either have a high level of quality with long lead times, or short lead times with mediocre quality. Leading Edge continues to challenge these long accepted industry standards by delivering beautifully painted aircraft in record breaking time, exceeding our customers’ expectations and our competitors’ abilities,” says Manclark.
About Leading Edge Aviation Services
Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with state-of-the-art facilities nationwide, Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. is the largest, most advanced commercial and military aircraft painting company in the world. Founded in 1989, the company’s undeniable success is attributed to its strong vision and a continuous commitment to quality and excellence. Today, Leading Edge delivers an extensive range of commercial services including aircraft interior and exterior painting, OEM production coatings application support, mod-center painting services support, VVIP aircraft interior completions and exterior paint, aviation graphics, aircraft weighing, long- and short-term aircraft storage, field audits, fleet assessments, interior deep cleaning, and aircraft exterior wash and polish. For more information, visit our web site at http://www.leadingedgecorp.com.
Leading Edge Aviation Services and Associated Painters join forces to form a world class aviation painting company.
Costa Mesa, California – April 15, 2013
Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. (Leading Edge), a leading aircraft painting company, today announced the acquisition of Associated Painters, Inc. (Associated Painters), based in Spokane, Washington.
Leading Edge founder and CEO, Mike Manclark, said, “Leading Edge and Associated Painters, the recognized leaders in this industry, are both Boeing-approved paint companies, servicing new OEM aircraft from B737 to B787, and serve as the primary provider to virtually every major airline. The Leading Edge/Associated Painters combined team form a partnership focused on providing Best in Class performance and quality. Our airline customers can continue to expect corporate quality finishes with the airline efficiency that we have been delivering for over two decades of business.”
Manclark continued, “Our two companies are recognized for maintaining stringent technical requirements, high-quality, and on-time reimaging. Leading Edge and Associated Painters have consistently received the highest accolades from customers across all branches of the aviation industry.”
“The merged company provides us with enhanced hangar capacity, an excellent expanded work force and resources to meet and exceed all of the needs of our very specialized industry. We believe our combined team and facilities are unmatched, and represent the best total quality solution for our customers,” said Manclark.
Associated Painters owner and President, Rod Friese, said, “The decision to merge forces was a make-sense move for both Leading Edge and Associated Painters. Our companies are AS9100 certified and support complementary airline customer bases. For 25 years, we both have grown our niche capabilities and reputations for being high-quality painters. Leading Edge serves both the double and single aisle markets for the airlines, while Associated Painters focuses on the single aisle and regional airline space.”
Friese continued, “As a combined company, we’ve broadened our footprint in the United States. Our locations are a big advantage for our airline customers. Our airline customer base can cycle their fleets faster and more efficiently by landing revenue flights at on-line facilities and swapping planes at the gate, significantly reducing the need and cost to ferry aircraft to off line locations.”
Leading Edge and Associated Painters will continue to operate under their respective names and current leadership. Leading Edge will continue to focus on serving airline customers with narrow and wide-body requirements, while Associated Painters will continue to work with the narrow-body customer base.
About Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc.
Headquartered in Costa Mesa, California with operations in eight state-of-the-art facilities nationwide, Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc. is a leading commercial, military, and VIP aircraft painting company. Founded in 1989, the company’s success is attributed to its strong vision and a continuous commitment to quality and excellence. Today, Leading Edge delivers an extensive range of commercial services including aircraft interior and exterior paint, OEM production coatings application support, mod-center paint services support, VIP aircraft interior completions and exterior paint, aviation graphics, aircraft weighing, long and short-term aircraft storage, field audits, fleet assessments, interior deep cleaning, and aircraft exterior wash and polish. For more information, visit our web site at http://www.leadingedgecorp.com.
About Associated Painters, Inc.
Headquartered in Spokane, Washington, with four state-of-the-art facilities in the United States, Associated Painters has been reimaging and painting all types of domestic and international aircraft since 1986. With over 2,000 aircraft painted to date, Associated Painters has emerged in the aerospace industry as the service provider of choice for aircraft manufacturers like Boeing, modification centers like Aviation Technical Services, Inc. (ATS) in Everett, Washington, AAR Aircraft Services (AAR) – in Oklahoma, and FlightStar in Jacksonville, Florida, as well as international and domestic airline companies. Currently, Associated Painters refinishes over 200 aircraft per year in four strategic locations in the United States. For more information, visit our web site at http://associatedpaintersinc.com.
Daniel Zeddy Joins Leading Edge Aviation as the Chief Financial Officer
Leading Edge Aviation Services (LEAS), the world’s largest aircraft painting company, announced today that Daniel Zeddy has joined the company as Chief Financial Officer. In his new role, Daniel will lead the company’s finance and accounting teams in support of the company’s substantial growth.
“Daniel joins Leading Edge at a pivotal time in the company’s history,” says Mike Manclark, founder and CEO of Leading Edge Aviation Services. “As we continue to grow by adding new services to our portfolio, Leading Edge continues to expand its reach into the commercial, military, OEM and VVIP markets. Bringing Daniel onboard is part of the long-term strategy to insure our continued success.”
Prior to joining Leading Edge, Daniel worked for world renowned manufacturing company Masco Corporation and Anthony International, both with revenues in excess of $300 million. Daniel specializes in information systems, human resources, working capital management and leading management teams through strategic mergers and acquisitions. In addition, Daniel has over 20 years of experience in continuous improvement and “lean” programs.
Daniel holds a Master’s degree in Business from Michigan State University, a Bachelor of Science in Business Administration from Wayne State University and is a Certified Public Accountant as well as a Certified Information Systems Auditor. Daniel is an instrument rated private pilot and resides in Los Angeles County with his wife.
Pete Rogers Joins Leading Edge Aviation as the Director of Sales for Business Jet Appearance and Refinishing
Leading Edge Aviation Services (LEAS), the world’s largest aircraft painting company, announced today that Pete Rogers has joined the company in the position of Director of Sales, Business Jet Appearance and Refinishing. In his new role, Pete will be the main liaison for Leading Edge’s personal and business aircraft customers. While Leading Edge is already well-known for its ground-breaking work with top airlines like United, Delta, American and Southwest, it has only recently launched into the corporate aircraft market.
“After 20 years of serving America’s top airlines, Leading Edge is expanding its customer base to also cater to corporate and personal business aircraft. We are uniquely positioned as the quality leader of the industry which makes our transition into this market a natural fit,” said Dave Patterson, Executive Vice President, Leading Edge Aviation. “By bringing Pete on board, we’re enhancing our commitment to serving these customers, deepening existing relationships in this segment, and exploring new territory as well. We’re pleased to have him join the team and look forward to expanding our business in another exciting year.”
Pete brings a strong background of sales to Leading Edge that spans a number of industries including real estate, construction, textiles, and insurance. Before coming to Leading Edge, Pete worked as a real estate commercial title insurance rep for Ticor. Some of his career highlights include working on the prestigious Belcourt development in Newport Beach, increasing sales across 10 states for Burlington Industries, and creating the distribution strategy for beachwear company Redsand Inc.
For more information on corporate aircraft painting, please contact Pete Rogers at 714-556-0576 x201.
Case Study: American Airlines
Reimaging an Iconic American Brand
For the first time in more than 40 years, American Airlines took a bold step to rebrand the company and reimage its entire fleet, changing its iconic double-A, flying eagle designs and polished aluminum bodies to a bright and fresh look to convey an energized American company.
American’s strategic decision to reimage the airline was driven by its pending delivery of 550 new aircraft, many of which are lighter-weight composite bodies that cannot be polished to match the mirror shine of its existing aluminum fleet.
Historically, American Airlines painted its livery at its own aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) facilities.
Faced with a massive reimaging project that requires the use of new paint technology, expertise on the latest painting methods, and ready access to state-of-the-art equipment, American recognized it needed the industry expert and specialist in fleet painting for airline mergers to direct the extensive, precision-focused strategy as an alternative to insourcing.
Leading Edge Aviation Services, Inc., already in year-long discussions with American, was awarded a contract to paint 777, 767 and 737NG aircraft in the new American livery. Working closely with the maintenance team, Leading Edge led and assisted American on engineering drawings and paint selection, and even shot test panels during the process leading up to the first delivery. Leading Edge’s work on more than 650 aircraft during the United and Continental airlines merger, which is 85 percent complete, also played a key role in the decision.
Knowledge and Experience Matter
Leading Edge leveraged its knowledge and expertise in paint processes and materials to help create a new paint system that consists of silver mica with base coat clear coat that will uphold brand continuity across the new American livery.
“Everything about an aircraft centers around weight,” said Steve Hastings, Vice President of Operations for Leading Edge. “The complexity of a project like the American reimaging process comes from the type of paint used to cover the mix of aluminum and composite bodied aircraft that range from A320s, 737-800s, to 777 ERs.”
Hastings explained the exterior paint crews at Leading Edge are experts at applying the micro-thin layers of base grade with precision, lightweight silver mica, the trio of color shades to create the stripes and gradients, and several layers of clear coat. The American Airlines prototype paint scheme project requires a commitment to excellence, quality, and consistency. The results of the American new image reveal are fresh and exciting.
When it comes to the art of reimaging a paint scheme, Leading Edge is renowned in the industry for completing up to 200 aircraft exterior reimages per year, depending on the aggressiveness of an airline. Leading Edge is the painting company of choice for a number of major air carriers, including the merged Northwest-Delta fleet, United, Southwest, UPS, and ExpressJet.
The American Spirit
The new American paint scheme is a brighter mix of red, white, and blue stripes on the tail and the stylized eagle Flight Symbol that appears behind the ‘number one’ doors on each side of the aircraft body. The vivid and energetic image is built from a custom palette of 7 to 8 paint shades, many gradients and fine layers. The American reimaging project is one of the most complex managed and produced by Leading Edge.
Leading Edge fulfilled the design and paint on three American Airlines-owned prototype fleet—a Boeing 737-800 and two Boeing 777s—at its high-security Southern California Logistics Airport-based facility in Victorville. In January 2013, American unveiled its new design and brighter color palette at Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport, after Leading Edge completed the complex paint and imaging project on the three reveal aircraft.
“We’re proud to be associated with the iconic American brand,” said Dave Patterson, Executive Vice President of Sales for Leading Edge. “When people hear the name ‘American,’ they think quality. Same goes for Leading Edge — we’re known as the quality-focused, most-capable commercial airline painting company that expertly manages high-profile, high-volume image changes.”
Patterson concluded Leading Edge has successfully managed and completed more than 20 major image changes with excellent outcomes. With 20 different hangar slots across its MRO facilities, Leading Edge is in a unique position to offer airlines more capacity and a higher level of flexibility that its competition cannot match.
Merger discussions between American Airlines and US Airways are ongoing and awaiting approval by government agencies. Pending successful conclusion of the merger, Leading Edge Aviation Services is prepared to provide hangar positions to complete reimaging of its combined airline livery, which will equal more than 1350 aircraft from American, US Airways, American Eagle and regional partners.