- Food & Drink
- Travel & Lifestyle
- Arts & Culture
- News & City Info
- Support Local
People are flying again, which means KF Aerospace is busy again and on a hiring spree.
"Yes, our activity is very much tied to air travel," said KF Aerospace's chief corporate services officer Grant Stevens.
"Our airline work is picking up and we need to hire 50 more people."
KF Aerospace (formerly Kelowna Flightcraft) is the city's largest private-sector employer with 700 workers at its headquarters adjacent to Kelowna International Airport.
That's down from the pre-pandemic peak of 800 in February 2020.
During the worst of COVID times, the company held onto as many workers as possible and secured cargo airline work for them to do.
Much of that business was with Aeronautics Engineers Incorporated putting cargo doors on former passenger planes and maintaining aircraft for Lynden Air Cargo of Alaska.
With travel restrictions easing and more of the public flying, the need for WestJet to get its planes maintained at KF Aerospace has increased.
"WestJet (and its discount airline Swoop) is KF's single-largest client in Kelowna," said Stevens.
To handle all this work, KF Aerospace has six hangars, each big enough to accommodate two or three planes as they are worked on.
"But now we need more space," said Stevens.
"We're expanding hangars 2 and 6 from 175 feet long to 275 feet long. That will allow us to fit in two bigger planes, like the next-generation 737 Max 8."
KF's other big clients include the Canadian Department of National Defence, Hawaii's Aloha Air Cargo, Icelandair and Northern Air Cargo of Alaska.
KF also has a smaller maintenance and modification facility in Hamilton, trains Canada's military pilots at a school in Portage la Prairie, Manitoba and flies cargo for Purolator Courier.
In all, 51-year-old KF Aerospace is one of Canada's biggest and most progressive aviation companies.
Of the 50 positions KF is hiring for, 10 are entry-level aircraft service technicians who are paid $17.76 an hour (the BC minimum wage is $15.20 an hour).
"We train these technicians on the job to take out and put back interior components, repair seats and overhead bins and clean and wash aircraft," said Stevens.
"If these workers grow with the company, in 10 years they can be making $33 an hour."
Entry-level parts workers start at $16.80 an hour, entry-level painters $18.13 an hour.
The array of other jobs available include aircraft maintenance engineers who take a specialized course at Okanagan College, carpenter, hangar administration, fleet planner, millwright, avionics apprentice, special processes technician, project engineer, ground handler and software developer.
Check out KFAero.ca/careers.
Support local journalism by clicking here to make a one-time contribution or by subscribing for a small monthly fee. We appreciate your consideration and any contribution you can provide.