[HALIFAX, NS] — Chorus Aviation Inc. today announced that it is expanding the operations and facilities of subsidiary Jazz Aviation LP in Halifax. The Province is providing assistance through a $2.5 million forgivable loan based on meeting employment targets and a $2 million employee incentive to recruit, train and develop new employees or to upgrade current employees' skills. In addition, the Province will provide a $12 million interest-bearing, repayable loan.
According to a press release issued by Chorus Aviation, the expansion is expected to bring approximately 150 new, highly skilled workers to Halifax and bring the local payroll to approximately $60 million annually.
"With the support of the Province of Nova Scotia, we will significantly expand our heavy maintenance hangar, convert our administrative building into a world-class operations centre and establish a new corporate headquarters," said Joe Randell, president and CEO of Chorus. "This is part of our overall strategic plan to increase our efficiency and cost competitiveness; thereby improving our operating economics and delivering more value to our stakeholders."
According to the press release, the transformation of Jazz's current combined operations and administrative headquarters into a pure operations centre will improve the working environment for its employees as well as the overall performance of the airline in terms of operational integrity, communication, customer service, and operating economics. The company also says associated economic spinoffs with these projects are significant as they exclusively involve Nova Scotian suppliers.
Expanded Heavy Maintenance Base
Jazz will increase its current two lines of heavy maintenance to three by the summer of 2013, and will look for opportunities to grow further. The current hangar facility located at the Halifax Stanfield International Airport will be expanded to accommodate this growth and improve the efficiency of the operation.
Systems Operations Control (SOC)
Jazz's SOC centre is responsible for deploying and managing over 860 flights per day to 84 destinations across North America. Jazz operates the most daily flights within Canada, and flies to more Canadian destinations than any other carrier. With the growth of Jazz operations in recent years, the centre is restricted at maximum capacity. The renovation of the centre will result in increased workspace and improved technology that will facilitate better customer service as a result of improved communications within the centre, and externally with the field, and better positions Jazz to grow this area and generate of ancillary revenue.
New Corporate Headquarters
Chorus is in final negotiations to acquire an administrative building that will serve as its new corporate headquarters in the Halifax area. Currently, Jazz rents space in several locations as space is not available at its airport facility. The consolidation of administrative functions and the cost reductions associated are important parts of the strategic plan.