Complex Made Simple

Project Phoenix appoints Andrew Johnston, VP Commercial

Project Phoenix, the Dubai-based company which specializes in Bombardier CRJ-200 executive VIP conversions has appointed Andrew Johnston as Vice President – Commercial.

Andrew will be responsible for all the commercial elements relating to the conversion of CRJ-200 regional jets to executive business aircraft.

Reporting to President Mike Cappuccitti, Andrew will work alongside Vice President – Sales, Nick Mossa, and the project management team led by Kevin Hoffman, owner of Montreal-based Aerospace Concepts.

Together, they offer customers a seamless process on the purchase, conversion and completion of a Phoenix CRJ business aircraft.

Johnston’s role will be to ensure that the conversion is legally compliant, it meets international standards and that contracts are water tight.

He will also be focused on structuring the after sales support programs for the Phoenix CRJ.

“I am absolutely delighted to be back working in the aviation industry, especially on such an interesting and challenging venture as Project Phoenix. As we saw at EBACE last month, conversions of regional jet aircraft are very much in vogue and the team we have at Project Phoenix, including many former Bombardier executives, is the most experienced in the business.”

Andrew joins the company from business consultancy Links Group Dubai, where he advised new businesses on the support and infrastructure needed to be successful.

Project Phoenix was a client last year and when they were ready to launch the vital role of Vice President Commercial was identified.

Andrew seized the opportunity to return to a sector he is most passionate about.

Joining the Royal Australian Navy at 16 Andrew became a ship and helicopter navigator flying mainly in the Sikorsky Seahawks and Westland Sea Kings.

He retired 20 years later as Deputy Fleet Aviation Officer responsible for all the Navy’s aviation assets at sea.

This included controlling 23 aircraft on 12 different ships from the US, Canada, New Zealand and Australia during multi-national exercises His experience completing audits and inspections for compatibility and compliance will be invaluable in his new role which requires extensive attention to detail.

Andrew also worked for the Victorian State Government in Australia on its aviation progamme and was instrumental in the formation of the National ITS Centre, renowned for promoting transport technology to businesses around the world.

Outside the office Andrew is a touch rugby referee and is hoping to initiate a regular touch rugby competition in Dubai as well as coach other referees.

He’s also a Toastmaster and is finalising an MBA in Aviation Management.

Project Phoenix announced the launch of the CRJ-Phoenix VIP conversion programme at the Dubai Air Show in November 2007.

It is being launched to address two significant challenges facing the business aviation sector today – rapidly escalating prices and increasingly long lead times.

The programme has been conceived, with the assistance and support of several former senior Bombardier executives who make up Project Phoenix, to offer buyers of large executive aircraft a viable and cost-effective alternative to new business aircraft models in the 2,200 – 3,000 n.m range – for which new customers are having to wait for up to five years for a delivery slot.

Jet Asia of Macau will be the first operator to fly the Project Phoenix VIP-configured Bombardier CRJ-200 on behalf of owner Ritz Pacific Ltd.

This aircraft, currently undergoing an exhaustive maintenance work package, is about to enter the completion centre phase of its refurbishment and will join Jet Asia’s fleet early next year.