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Updated: December 4, 2023

Aviation firm to cut 15% of its Bangor workforce, focus more on parts repair

two people in cabin File photo Courtesy / C&L Aviation Group C&L Aviation Group is a Bangor-based global aircraft parts supplier and aviation service provider with Australian roots.

Bangor-based C&L Aviation Group, an aircraft parts supplier and aviation service provider with Australian roots, will eliminate 30 jobs in order to focus more on parts repair business.

The jobs to be cut are in Bangor and make up 15% of C&L's workforce there, leaving the company with 170 employees at the facility, including 110 in the maintenance division. Another 20 employees are based around the United States and abroad.

"Our decision to refine our MRO [maintenance, repair and overhaul] division is a strategic response to align with evolving market demands," Chris Kilgour, founder and CEO, told Mainebiz on Monday.

"We are strategically shifting our focus toward component repair, a move that aligns our business more closely with the needs of our aviation sector."

The decision, announced Friday, will help the company “better meet global market conditions." C&L said it will continue to operate as an aircraft parts supplier, with an increased focus on repairs.

'Adjusting to thrive'

Asked what global market conditions pose the greatest challenge, Kilgour mentioned smaller maintenance, repair and overhaul companies joining forces with larger peers to create new hurdles for remaining smaller shops.

"We recognize that even though we are based in Bangor, our market spans the entire country, and we’re adjusting to thrive in this evolving landscape," he said.

"The aviation industry has witnessed significant consolidation and acquisitions, which directly impact independently owned MROs like ours. Our ability to adapt and remain competitive in this changing environment is crucial for our continued success.”

Chris Kilgour
File photo / Amber Waterman
Chris Kilgour

In Friday's announcement, the company said that some of the affected positions will be absorbed into C&L's growing parts supply and component repair business.

In addition, the Maine Department of Labor Rapid Response program will provide assistance for the affected employees. 

"Our employees are the backbone of this organization," Kilgour said. "Their hard work has helped to position C&L as a dependable aircraft parts supplies. This core aspect of our business continues to receive our unwavering commitment to quality and service excellence. "

The move comes about a year after C&L Aviation added a dozen employees in the United Kingdom through the acquisition of U.K.-based ACLAS Technics. 

Organic growth, bullish outlook

The company expects growth to be mainly organic but continues to evaluate strategic acquisitions, according to Kilgour, who said his business outlook for 2024 is strong.

"Having the opportunity to refine our operations in this way only makes that outlook stronger," he said. "In the pursuit for a strong, healthy future for our company, tough decisions occasionally must be made. This adjustment is about securing the future of our organization and ensuring that we can continue to effectively serve our global customer base.

"We have recently purchased warehouses in Germany, South Africa and Wichita, Kan., to enable us to position inventory and people closer to our customers around the world." 

C&L Aviation moved its base to Bangor in 2010 following the acquisition of Telford Aviation Services, which was based there.

C&L’s roots go to back to Brisbane, Australia, in 1994, when the company was founded as a small basement operation selling aircraft parts to the Australian Air Force.

Kilgour was honored on the Mainebiz Next List in 2013.

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