Martin C. Barry
F/LIST, an Austrian high-end business jet interior manufacturer, became one of the latest aerospace industry suppliers to choose the City of Laval as the location for a Canadian subsidiary when it officially inaugurated a new 59,000-square-foot production facility last Monday on des Rossignols Blvd in Laval’s industrial park.
Investing in Canada
“Investing in Canada is very important to our company’s future growth and success in aerospace,” said Katharina List-Nagl, the Austria-based CEO of the privately-held company during a ceremony held at the new facility.
“F/LIST has a long and successful history in Canada, working very closely with Bombardier and other partners in the region,” she added. “It made great business sense to set up our centre of Canadian operations here in Laval where we are so close to so many great aerospace businesses and opportunities.”
Aerospace industry growth
F/LIST is one of the most recent European suppliers of aerospace industry components and materials to choose Laval for expansion, while doing so with Bombardier specifically in mind. Last October, Liebherr, a diversified Swiss-based heavy equipment and engineering conglomerate, opened a sprawling new facility along Autoroute 13 in Chomedey where pre-manufactured landing gear for the CSeries medium-range passenger is being put together for delivery to a Bombardier final assembly site in Mirabel.
Mayor Marc Demers was visibly very pleased that F/LIST chose Laval to be the base for its Canadian operations. “One of our main goals is to see that our business people succeed here,” he said, noting that Marc Tremblay, the city’s director of economic development, “will work with you to make sure that we all have success.”
Interiors for Challenger
While Liebherr is betting on the CSeries, a Bombardier aircraft that hasn’t yet achieved its highest anticipated level of success, F/List Canada, on the other hand, will be providing its services for one of Bombardier’s greatest successes – the already well-established Challenger business jet, as well as some of Bombardier’s other planes.
F/LIST’s Laval facility, which is the first manufacturing plant the company has opened outside of Austria, represents an investment of more than $20 million for F/LIST, including $10 million by the end of 2018. The company provides high-quality wood veneers for business and executive jet interiors, finishing and assembling of interior components, refurbishment of interiors, and product and customer support.
Service to North America
“We will be serving not only the thriving local market in Canada, but across North America with our quality workmanship and F/LIST spirit,” said Sean Johnson, CEO of F.LIST Canada Corp. “We are committed to building and growing our presence here, having already invested millions of dollars in specialized production equipment, and recruiting top local talent.”
F/LIST says it is currently hiring and the positions available include cabinetmakers and veneer specialists, production managers and quality assurance experts. The company received financial support of $1.2 million. from the government of Quebec and $1 million from Economic Development Canada for Quebec towards infrastructure and equipment for the project, totalling more than $8.5 million by the end of 2018.
‘Great news,’ said Robillard
“Today’s inauguration is great news for Canada,” Yves Robillard, Liberal MP for Marc-Aurèle-Fortin, said on behalf of Navdeep Bains, federal Minister of Innovation, Science and Economic Development. “F/LIST’s decision to set up in the Greater Montréal area reaffirms the strategic positioning of Québec’s aerospace industry.
“It also demonstrates that Quebec and Canada have strategic assets to attract international companies, including a highly-qualified workforce and solid, structured business networks. I am proud to see F/LIST’s first plant outside of Austria open here in Laval. Its arrival will generate significant economic spinoffs that will benefit the citizens of the region.”
Vote of confidence, says Habel
“By setting up here in Laval, the Austrian manufacturer F/LIST is clearly demonstrating that Quebec is a good place for private investment,” said Jean Habel, the Quebec Liberal MNA for Sainte-Rose and parliamentary assistant to Quebec Minister of Economy, Science and Innovation Dominique Anglade.
“The recognized expertise of our aerospace industry has also played a major role in attracting this company,” Habel continued. “This new plant will generate significant spin-offs for Québec. With such initiatives, Québec will undoubtedly strengthen its position as the world leader in the aerospace industry,”