Pilatus Aircraft Ltd To Acquire Pilatus-Focused Aircraft Maintenance Business From Aero Centers

ATLANTA and STANS, Switzerland, Dec. 21, 2023 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- SAR Trilogy Management, LLC (SAR-T), the holding company of the Aero Centers portfolio of fixed-base operations (FBOs), and Pilatus Aircraft Ltd (Pilatus) today announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement whereby Pilatus will acquire Aero Center’s Pilatus-focused maintenance operations and personnel (MRO) located at the DeKalb-Peachtree Airport in Atlanta, Georgia.

The transaction, which is limited to Aero Center’s Pilatus maintenance business and personnel, is anticipated to close in 2024, subject to regulatory approvals and other customary closing conditions. Aero Centers will continue to operate its FBO and other maintenance activities through and following completion of the transaction.

“We are very pleased to announce the sale of Aero Centers’ Pilatus maintenance and repair operations to Pilatus Aircraft Ltd,” said Sanjay Aggarwal, Managing Director of SAR-T Trilogy Management. “This transaction allows Aero Centers to better focus on its FBO, non-Pilatus maintenance, and aircraft management and charter business at PDK, and we look forward to continue providing an exemplary service to our customers and maintenance services to our non-Pilatus aircraft customers now and in the future.”

Speaking at the contract signing, Markus Bucher, CEO of Pilatus, emphasizes: “With this acquisition we want to safeguard and further improve the continuity and quality of our award-winning services on the southeast coast of the USA. I’m delighted that we will have the expertise and the employees on board with us, and that we can continue to offer our customers a first-class service – ‘Together we create the Pilatus Class’!”

Pilatus will continue to provide first class MRO services on an independent basis to its customers and is committed to providing comprehensive product support over the entire life cycle of Pilatus aircraft including maintenance and repair services, as well as avionics and spare parts sales for the single-engine PC-12 and the twin-engine PC-24 Super Versatile Jet. In connection with the acquisition, Pilatus will deliver the PC-12 and PC-24 sales activities previously provided by Aero Centers Epps.

About SAR Trilogy Management:

SAR-T was founded by Sanjay Aggarwal and S. Michael Scheeringa with the first greenfield Aero Centers opening in 2021 in Lakeland, FL. In 2022, RedBird Capital Partners became a strategic investment partner providing growth capital for the expansion of the portfolio. Aero Centers has six operating locations including Lakeland FL (AC LAL 2021), Wilmington NC (AC ILM 2022), Spokane Felts Field (AC SFF – 2023), Spokane WA (AC GEG 2023), Atlanta, GA (AC Epps PDK 2023), Tallahassee FL (AC TLH 2023) with Casper WY (AC CPR) opening in early 2024 and Northeast Philadelphia (AC PNE) scheduled for completion in 2025. For more information contact [email protected]

About Pilatus Aircraft Ltd

Founded in 1939, Pilatus Aircraft Ltd develops and produces the world’s most unique aircraft: from the legendary PC-12, the best-selling single-engine turboprop in its class, to the PC-7 MKX and PC-21 and associated simulators, the market-leading systems for pilot training. The brand-new PC-24 is the world’s first ever business jet designed for use on short unprepared runways. The Pilatus team consists of over 2,500 exceptional employees who make the company, which is domiciled in Stans, one of the largest and most innovative employers in Central Switzerland. The Pilatus Group also includes independent subsidiaries in the USA and Australia. Pilatus provides training for over 140 apprentices in various professions – job training for young people has always been a very high priority. Pilatus remains committed to Switzerland as a hub for work and new ideas, and acts in a sustainable and environmentally-conscious manner at all times.

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Jeremy Epperson

“Jeremy is a true world-class leader in the aviation community,” said S. Michael Scheeringa, co-founder and managing director of SAR Trilogy Management.

His life-long passion for the industry and history of developing both people and markets made Jeremy the first and natural choice to lead Aero Centers.

Epperson started his aviation career in the United States Marine Corps, where he developed his leadership and passion to serve. He graduated from the University of California, San Diego, and is a commercial pilot with P135 experience. He has demonstrated his affection for the business with successful FBO leadership roles at Signature and Republic. 

Aero Centers will bring a level of professionalism and experience back to aviation communities,” added Jeremy Epperson. “Our FBOs demonstrate to the industry we are committed to first-class facilities with knowledgeable and experienced local team members with a passion for aviation. I am very excited to lead the team responsible for developing full-service FBOs and delivering customer-centric service to all aviation customers in a community. I had a vision for bringing passion, fun, and expertise back into aviation communities, just like it was 30 years ago. Aero Centers’ focus on full-service FBOs brings the dream to reality.

Jeremy Epperson

Sanjay Aggarwal

Aggarwal has over 25 years of experience in the aviation and hospitality industries. Aggarwal is a co-founder of SAR Trilogy Management. Previously until 2015, he was the CEO of Global Crew Logistics (GCL), a Miami-based travel management company specializing in the movements and accommodation of business aviation and cargo airlines’ flight crews. GCL doubled its EBITDA in a short two-year period under Aggarwal’s leadership. 

Between 2008 and 2013, Sanjay served as CEO of two commercial airlines in India – Spicejet (a private-equity-backed low-cost air carrier) and Kingfisher Airlines (a publicly listed full-service carrier). Under his leadership, Spicejet saw its first profitable year and increased its domestic market share from 7% to 12%. Prior to that, he served as COO of Flight Options LLC, one of the world’s largest operators of business jets. He and Scheeringa worked together to take Flight Options to profitability. 

Earlier, Sanjay worked in IT, strategy, financial planning and other roles at Marriott International and US Airways. He received his BS in Industrial Engineering from Nagpur University in India and his MS in Industrial and Systems Engineering from Virginia Tech. 

Sanjay Aggarwal is a co-founder of SAR Trilogy Management

MICHAEL SCHEERINGA

Scheeringa has almost 30 years of experience in general and commercial aviation as an operator and supplier. Scheeringa is a co-founder and managing director of SAR Trilogy Management, an aviation investment and management company. Before he founded SAR Trilogy in 2015, he was the President and CEO of BBA Aviation Flight Support, which comprised Signature Flight Support, the world’s leading FBO network, and ASIG, a leading operator of commercial aviation fueling services. Under his leadership, Signature grew from 85 to 124 global locations, almost doubled in revenue and tripled profit resulting in the company outperforming the market in 65 out of the last 72 months of Scheeringa’s tenure.

From 2004-2008, Scheeringa served as CEO of Flight Options LLC, one of the world’s largest operators of business jets. He was responsible for the turnaround of the business taking it from a negative 20% margin to a positive 5% margin. Prior to that he spent 13 years at US Airways in officer-level positions in network and operations planning and as the head of the company’s wholly-owned subsidiaries. 

Scheeringa received his BS in Transportation and Logistics Management from Arizona State University. Scheeringa was a board member of the Central Florida Expressway Authority. He is a Past Chairman of the National Air Transportation Association and a private pilot.

Michael Scheringa Founder of Aero Centers