Eirtech Aviation chief to head merged group

Niall Cunningham appointed International Aerospace Coatings Holdings chief executive

International  Aerospace Coatings Holdings chief executive Niall Cunningham.

International Aerospace Coatings Holdings chief executive Niall Cunningham.

 

Eirtech Aviation chief executive Niall Cunningham is set to take the helm at the enlarged group formed by the merger of the Irish business with two US aircraft maintenance companies.

Last August, Eirtech, California-based Leading Edge Aviation Services and its sister company, Associated Painters, announced they were joining forces to form a new entity, International Aerospace Coatings Holdings (IAC), with the backing of private equity player, Vance Street Capital.

IAC has appointed Mr Cunningham as chief executive. He will take responsibility for developing and implementing the enlarged group’s strategy.

The group employs more than 800 people across Europe, North America and the United Arab Emirates. It specialises in exterior and interior aircraft painting, refurbishment, graphics and other services. Customers include large commercial airlines, equipment manufacturers, aircraft lessors and the military.

Shannon-based Eirtech is a shareholder in IAC. Mr Cunningham founded the company when he led a management buyout of Lufthansa Technik’s (LHT) operation at the airport in 2009.

LHT had originally bought Shannon Aircraft Refinishing, where Mr Cunningham was managing director, in 1999.

Leading Edge and Associated Painters are headquartered in Costa Mesa, California. They are the largest commercial, military and VIP aircraft painters in the US, finishing over 500 planes a year. The three companies that make up IAC will continue to trade under their own names.

Vance Street Capital takes controlling interests in companies worth up to $200 million that specialise in precision manufacturing, aerospace, defence and medical devices.

Commenting on his appointment, Mr Cunningham said he was confident “all of our customers will benefit from the combined experience and expertise of the newly merged company”.

Mr Cunningham has over 20 years of experience in aviation. He began his career in Trans Aer in 1993 before joining Shannon Aircraft Refinishing in 1997 as managing director. He remained in that role when LHT took over in 1999.

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