On aircraft seats from Lichtenfels to the whole world

aviationscouts GmbH from Lichtenfels is conquering the international market by filling a market niche – District Administrator Meissner: We need such innovative ideas for the economic location Lichtenfels

LICHTENFELS. “The fascinating thing about our location is the large variety of industries. I am proud that we have companies such as aviationscouts GmbH, which occupy market niches with innovative ideas, and strengthen the backbone of the domestic economy as a global player”, said District Administrator Christian Meissner on Tuesday during his visit to the Lichtenfels-based company (located in Upper Franconia/Bavaria).

In 2018 aviationscouts GmbH was one of the top 3 applicants for the trade category in the competition for the Bavarian Export Award. According to a study for which the news magazine Focus, together with the data company Statista, has identified the German companies with the highest sales growth, it is one of the growth champions for 2019. As Managing Director Thomas Bulirsch explained, his company was ranked 94th in the nationwide rating of 500 companies and recorded an annual growth of around 70 percent.

Second life for discarded seats
It all began with a simple and smart idea for a market niche in aviation, Managing Director Thomas Bulirsch stated during the conversation with District Administrator Meissner and Economic Development Helmut Kurz looking back on the beginnings more than 20 years ago: aircraft seats have to be replaced every six or seven years. But where to go with the seats? The Lichtenfels company wanted to give them “a second life” and has become a competent partner for second, third and fourth use. “We were the first to work in this aviation industry. Meanwhile, aviation is definitely a market that has become very interesting”, notes the CEO.

Today, aviationscouts GmbH operates a successful trading agency for the aviation industry as well as the online platform aviationgate.com, a marketplace for worldwide trading in surplus aircraft seats. The extended range of services, the entrepreneur continues, also covers the storage, overhaul and modification of aircraft seats, the entire logistics and end-of-life solutions: from recycling to disposal to upcycling.

Point of contact for airlines from all over the world
With this concept, aviationscouts GmbH is now a central point of contact for airlines, leasing companies and MROs who need fast and reliable cabin solutions:

“Our advantage is that we can act very quickly. Thanks to a good network, we can handle large order volumes with a relatively small team. That’s how we manage to get seats back in the air in two to four weeks after the order has been received”,

informed Thomas Bulirsch on the tour.

Headquartered at Wendenstrasse, the company has a storage capacity of more than 4,500 square meters and can store up to 15,000 passenger seats. The company currently employs 15 people from different countries in Lichtenfels and cooperates with service providers around the world. About 50 percent of the products are sold in Europe, the remainder are exported to the USA, Asia or other regions, the Managing Director said.

“I find this concept extremely impressive, as well as the fact that recycled aircraft seats from Lichtenfels are on the move in machines all over the world,”

said District Administrator Meissner with delight. “These are ideas that characterize the creativity and the business sense of the companies in our district!” The District Administrator was also impressed by the upcycling of retired cabin equipment: Since January, aviationscouts GmbH has been associated with the company Ehrensache from Bayreuth, which had the initial idea of turning life jackets into accessories like fancy yellow tote bags and market them as “bag to life”.

German version and publication can be read at following link: www.lkr-lif.de/6597