Silver Airways bringing maintenance facility to Gainesville

Published: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 5:13 p.m.
Last Modified: Thursday, January 19, 2012 at 9:32 p.m.

A new airline formed from the remnants of Gulfstream International is moving its maintenance facility to Gainesville with plans to offer flights to and from Gainesville Regional Airport.

Silver Airways is moving its maintenance facility from the company's headquarters in Fort Lauderdale into the former Eclipse Aviation hangar at the airport.

The company operates more than 100 daily flights in Florida, the Bahamas, Montana, Ohio, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia. Its fleet includes 21 Beechcraft 1900D 19-seat jets, and the airline is in the process of adding six Saab 340Bplus 34-seat jets.

Spokesman Steve Bennett said Silver Airways plans to offer flights to and from Gainesville, but routes had not yet been determined. Current Florida destinations include Fort Lauderdale, Key West, Miami, Orlando, Pensacola, Tallahassee, Tampa and West Palm Beach.

Silver Airways handles regional flights under agreements with United and COPA airlines.

Bennett said he did not know how many people the company would employ in Gainesville. He said more details will be available from company officials at a news conference today.

Silver Airways is owned by Chicago investment firm Victory Park Capital, which purchased some of the assets from the former Gulfstream International Airlines after its bankruptcy in November 2010. The new company started in May under the Gulfstream name before changing in December to Silver.

The 61,000-square-foot Eclipse hangar has been empty since the jet company went bankrupt in 2009.

The Council for Economic Outreach, the economic development arm of the Gainesville Area Chamber of Commerce, has been working with the airport to recruit Silver Airways to Gainesville since October, CEO said in an announcement to its donors Thursday.

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