The Avion Group has received an injection of €10 million of investment capital from the Kempen European Private Equity Fund and the current shareholders, facilitating the further expansion of the Dutch aviation group to London Gatwick.
In collaboration with its partner IAGO, Avion Group will open a new training centre later this year for pilots in London. Using its hypermodern AVION Phantom 320 flight simulator, pilots will learn how to fly the Airbus A-320. Following Malta, the British airport is the second location where the simulator will be used for training purposes.
According to Erik Varwijk, CEO of Avion Group, the investment by Kempen will help the company realise its growth ambitions: “We are presently transitioning from the start-up to the scale-up phase, and this is being accompanied by investments at all levels of the company. We will also be upgrading the software used for the simulator to the 2020 standard and aim to open training centres at additional locations in future.”
With this investment, Kempen European Private Equity Fund becomes the second investor in Avion Group, following in the footsteps of 5Square. Remco van den Heuvel, managing partner of the investment company, 5square said, “Their participation further strengthens the financial position of Avion Group and enables the company to accelerate its international rollout.”
Avion Group’s innovative high-tech flight simulator is very compact and operates as a plug and play system. As opposed to other flights simulators on the market, it can be installed in a few easy steps at any location in the world and does not require the support of other complicated infrastructure. This innovative Dutch system also sets itself apart from the competition due to its low total cost of ownership, ability to perform remote maintenance and sustainability.
The new simulator in London will have the same technical specifications as the first system in Malta but will also offer a training programme for the newest Airbus model, the A320neo. The simulator is expected to provide roughly 6000 hours of simulated flying time in 2020 and to be used for training a few hundred pilots each year. The AVION Phantom 320 is assembled by VDL ETG in Almelo, a subsidiary of the VDL Group.
Avion Group will be at this year’s Asia Pacific Airline Training Summit (APATS) in Singapore in Booth 622. Visitors can stop by to learn about the new center in London that is set to open in December 2019.