KF Aerospace employee at work. - Image contributed by KF Aerospace.

KF Aerospace goes on hiring spree

Kelowna company goes on a contract signing spree

KF Aerospace appeared to be in trouble a few years ago when it lost some lucrative contracts and, in turn, more than 100 employees.

Now the Kelowna company’s star is back on the rise with a series of new contracts lined-up, allowing for a bit of a hiring spree.

The company signed a contract with Aeronautical Engineers, Inc. , which developed the engineering rights and modification packages to convert a passenger aircraft into a cargo aircraft.

KF is now licensed to install these cargo doors into B737-400, B737-800, MD80, and CRJ aircraft on AEI’s behalf. In conjunction with that contract, KF Aerospace signed a customer —Vx Capital — that provides them with the opportunity to convert up to 19 B737’s they own to from passenger to cargo configuration over the next three years.

“Even better, we still have a few other announcements pending over the next few weeks – all good news,” said Grant Stevens, KF Aerospace’s director of human resources.

All of these new contracts will mean more jobs.

Staffing wise we are back well over 800 employees nationally, and currently looking to fill about 90 positions across Canada. Kelowna has over 575 staff now, and will reach about 650 by end of summer.

“Our Hangar expansion remains on track for July 1,” he said.

It’s still not quite as many employees as they previous to 2015 when the company lost its contract to be Purolator Courier’s mainline operations and Canada Post mail service. The two were estimated to be worth upwards of $1 billion.

At that time, KF Aerospace employed 1,000 and that number included pilots and others on the flight operations side of the business.

It is remarkable growth, and it comes from a concerted effort to grow the maintenance side of the business while the flight operations side went into a period of retraction.

“I think there are a couple things that happened for KF. We’ve been recognized within the industry for many years for having very good quality work and that’s because of the outstanding employees who work for us,” he said. “Like any industry, people talk about (good work), and that’s enabled us to grow the business from a maintenance perspective even though the marketplace is a bit smaller.”

The other reason for growth is being attributed to an adjustment to their business plan.

“We had some challenges in 2015 when we lost Purolator,” said Stevens.

“We knew then that maintenance was going to be a larger part of our business so we thought , ‘what can we do to make it more successful?’”

The company put together a business development group, assigned people within that group to work with existing customers and to generate additional longer-term business opportunities and invested in training. That created the space for new growth.

All in all, Stevens said they’ve “grown better than expected.”

KF Aerospace

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

 

Just Posted

Separate trials set for 2018 Kelowna Canada Day killing

Four people have been charged with manslaughter in relation to Esa Carriere’s death, including two youths

Tough time for tree fruits as some B.C. farm products soar

Province reports record 2019 sales, largely due to cannabis

Parkinson Recreation Centre reopening to members

The pool and the gym areas will remain closed at this time

Province agrees to multimillion-dollar payout for alleged victims of Kelowna social worker

Robert Riley Saunders is accused of misappropriating funds of children — often Indigenous — in his care

COVID-19 cases at Oliver farm likely linked to Kelowna outbreak, says Interior Health

A team of doctors, nurses and health investigators are at the Krazy Cherry Farm to test employees

21 new COVID-19 cases confirmed in B.C. as virus ‘silently circulates’ in broader community

Health officials urge British Columbians to enjoy summer safely as surge continues

Kootnekoff: New workplace harassment and violence requirements

Susan Kootnekoff is the founder of Inspire Law, her diverse legal career spans over 20 years.

Dyer: Buying an electric car

Kristy Dyer is a columnist for Black Press Media who writes about the environment

Summerland Museum to hold walking tours

Community’s past will be explained during series of summer tours

Summerland mayor asks for community conversation following racist vandalism

Home of Indo-Canadian family in Summerland was targeted on evening of July 13

HERGOTT: Goodbye column

Paul Hergott is taking a break from writing for Black Press

Lake Country motorhome fire deemed suspicious

Vehicle found fully engulfed Tuesday, July 14, just before 8:30 p.m.

COLUMN: A problem with the WE charity

Federal ethics commissioner investigating Trudeau for the third time

B.C. businessman David Sidoo gets 3 months behind bars for college admissions scam

Sidoo was sentenced for hiring someone take the SATs in place of his two sons

Most Read