Montreal, June 20, 2023 - Avianor, a company owned by DRAKKAR Aerospace & Ground Transportation, which has specialized aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) and cabin integration for more than 25 years, announces the official launch of the construction of its Center of Excellence for the A220 aircraft at the Montreal-Mirabel International Airport (YMX). The announcement was made by Denis Deschamps, Co-founder, President and CEO of DRAKKAR, accompanied by the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy (MEIE), Mr. Pierre Fitzgibbon, at the International Paris Air Show - Le Bourget, held in Paris between June 19 and 25, alongside the world's aerospace cluster.

Scheduled to open in Fall of 2024, the Center of Excellence represents an investment of more than $70 million in infrastructure, digitization and state-of-the-art equipment, including a government loan of $9 million from the Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy. The brand-new 105,000 sq. ft. hangar will create over 100 highly specialized maintenance jobs.

Avianor will therefore have four (4) additional maintenance lines to accommodate the A220 aircraft and potentially other types of narrow-body aircraft programs, for a total asset of seven (7) maintenance lines in service.

“The A220 Center of Excellence represents an extremely decisive and significant milestone for Avianor and all our customers, community, partners and suppliers. The implementation of new maintenance software and the modernization of our aircraft maintenance and cabin integration facilities will add tremendous value to our service offering,” said Hugo Brouillard, Avianor's Vice President and Chief Operating Officer.

“Since we acquired Avianor in 2019, the strategic driver of our medium and long-term growth plan was to set up a world-class maintenance and cabin integration center in our ecosystem. Thanks to our launch customer, Air Canada, for the heavy maintenance of their A220s, and the support of a number of stakeholders who are mobilizing to make our Quebec aerospace industry shine, this vision is now being realized at a superior level with the Center of Excellence, enabling us to become a benchmark in North America," added Benoit Hudon, President and CEO of DRAKKAR Aerospace & Ground Transportation.

Present in the photo: Benoit Hudon, President and CEO of DRAKKAR Aerospace & Ground Transportation, Hugo Brouillard, Vice President and COO of Avianor, and Denis Deschamps, Co-founder, President and CEO of DRAKKAR.

“In aerospace, Quebec knows how to showcase its expertise and ingenuity. We do this by supporting promising projects like Avianor, and by looking to the future through innovation and the sharing of knowledge. Today's announcement is a reminder that it's SMEs like Avianor that make Quebec's aerospace sector stand out,” said Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of the Economy, Innovation and Energy, Minister responsible for Regional Economic Development and Minister responsible for the Greater Montreal Area.

“The creation of the A220 Center of Excellence reinforces the expertise developed on a product designed, manufactured and assembled in Quebec. By increasing its maintenance and repair capabilities, Quebec is becoming a true benchmark for the A220 program. This Center of Excellence is also a positive symbol for the next generation, a clear indication of the industry's growth and the promising employment opportunities it offers,” said Mélanie Lussier, President and CEO, Aéro Montréal.

“Air Canada has a well-established relationship with Avianor, notably as a launch customer for heavy maintenance on our fleet of Airbus A220 aircraft at the Mirabel site, located near our international hub in Montreal, at the heart of the Canadian aerospace industry. We share the same deep commitment to safety, quality and operational reliability. We therefore welcome this investment and are delighted with the creation of this Center of Excellence, which will make Avianor an even stronger partner for us,” said Craig Landry, General Vice-President and Chief Operating Officer, Air Canada.

“With 265 A220 aircraft delivered and in service with airlines here and around the world, and with nearly 800 A220s on order, an increase in aircraft maintenance capabilities is required as the fleet keeps on growing." Benoît Schultz, CEO, Airbus Canada.

“As a real estate partner, MACH is proud to take part in the construction of this new leading-edge infrastructure, combining innovation and performance, and thus contributing to the international reputation of the Quebec aerospace industry and its expertise. The establishment of this new Center of Excellence is also a unique opportunity to contribute to the economic growth and job creation in the Mirabel region,” noted Vincent Chiara, President of MACH.

“ADM Aéroports de Montréal is particularly proud to welcome the construction of the brand-new Center of Excellence for the A220, the world's most powerful aircraft, on its YMX Aérocité internationale de Mirabel site. For the past ten years, our site has stood out due to the quality of the partners who, like Avianor and Airbus, decide to establish or expand their activities here. In doing so, they help create a solid base that propels research and development in the aerospace sector to new heights and showcases our unique expertise and know-how on the international stage,” said Philippe Rainville, President and CEO of ADM Aéroports de Montréal.

“The A220 Center of Excellence is one of the anchor projects in Quebec's Aerospace Innovation Zone. This center will position Mirabel as one of the few places in the world where aircraft can be designed, developed, manufactured, tested, delivered and maintained,” concluded Mirabel mayor Patrick Charbonneau.