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Two aviation service companies to be sold

Fri., Dec. 2, 2011

Ross Air plans to combine Spokane Airways, XN Air

A Denver company is buying two Spokane aviation service companies and will combine them into a single operation.

Ross Aviation is acquiring XN Air and Spokane Airways; both are located at Spokane International Airport and are fixed-base operators providing services such as fueling, maintenance, training, cargo handling and charter flights.

Jeff Ross, Ross’ CEO and president, said he’s been in touch for years with the Chastek family, owners of Spokane Airways. The Chasteks felt it was time to sell the business, founded by Richard Chastek more than 40 years ago. But Ross said Spokane Airways by itself wasn’t large enough to warrant the purchase. “I told them it would only make sense if I could also buy their competitor,” XN Air, Ross said.

Terms of the deal were not disclosed. Ross said he hasn’t yet closed the sale. An airport board meeting recently approved the transfer of leases from XN and Spokane Airways to Ross.

Ross said he hoped to complete the sale in the first quarter of 2012.

XN Air was started in 2004 by Spokane resident Al Hale and managed in recent years by his sons, John and Brian Hale. It primarily provides maintenance, installation and repair of aircraft electronics.

In 2005 XN was able to build a maintenance facility after airport officials obtained a $200,000 grant and an $800,000 loan from the state.

Once the Spokane deals conclude, Ross said, the Spokane operation will carry the name XN Air. In part that’s due to the modern, clean look that the Hales have developed at their airport location.

Some staff consolidation will occur, but Ross said decisions on specific cuts haven’t been made yet.

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