As we work through the Chapter 11 planning requirements and execute our daily operations, the staff at Van’s Aircraft have been hard at work. We’ve processed a large volume of kit reorders and continue to handle related emails and phone calls. We’re shipping kits to customers every day, and we’ve started sending replacement parts to some customers with kits that contained laser cut parts.
We’re also currently finalizing the plan for customers who have open orders for Lycoming engines, Rotax powerplant kits, propellers, and avionics kits.
- The reorder rate for customers with open kit orders has been quite high, and we thank all of our customers for your commitment and support. Since the filing in December, more than 65 percent of eligible kit orders have been renewed at the adjusted price.
- We have started actively shipping kits to customers. We’ve shipped nearly 100 kits to customers since the reorders started. Our shipping throughput will increase over the coming weeks, and we will post progress updates.
- We’ve also been shipping new parts orders, as well as parts that were backordered from previously shipped kits. Our supply chain has been improving and we have team members working with our suppliers to continue to drive improvement in this area.
- We’ve communicated our plans for replacement of laser-cut parts to affected customers, and we have started the process of reaching out individually to the more than 1800 customers who are affected. These individual communications will ramp up over the next several weeks. All affected customers will be sent an email containing an individualized list of affected parts for each kit they have received. These part lists are specific to each customer kit, based on inventory on the date that specific kit was packed for shipment. Along with that communication each customer will have the opportunity to select which parts they wish to receive as replacements, and view the associated costs where applicable.
- We’ve recently released detailed testing information and results related to laser-cut parts, which you can review here. Through the testing process, which took several months to complete, we confirmed that laser-cut parts are safe for use. The video presentations explain how the testing was performed and how we determined which laser-cut parts are acceptable for use, and which parts we recommend be replaced. We also present information about the lifespan and performance of laser-cut parts relative to CNC-punched parts.
- Our management team traveled to Lycoming last week to discuss planning related to engine orders. It was a productive meeting, and we had hoped announce our recovery plan for customers with engine deposits this week. However, due to severe inclement weather that hit Portland we were closed Monday through Wednesday this week, which put us several days behind. The planning that is currently underway includes a look at scheduling, lead times, payments, pricing, customer deposits, and more. We are working to have our plans shared by the end of next week with those customers who have open orders for engines, propellers and avionics kits.
- We are receiving a high volume of emails and phone calls, and we simply do not have the capability to respond to each of you as quickly as we would like. With all that is happening, we are quite backlogged. Please bear with us as we work through the next several weeks.
Many customers have emailed and called us to offer words of encouragement, and we want to say “thank you.” Your kind words always help, and are very much appreciated!
We will have more news to share in the coming week.