Astraeus Airlines, the Gatwick, U.K.-based carrier for which IRON MAIDEN frontman Bruce Dickinson worked as a pilot, went out of business in November 2011 and Dickinson subsequently launched aircraft maintenance business, Cardiff Aviation Limited, which is based at the Twin Peaks Hangar at St Athan, Vale of Glamorgan in Wales, United Kingdom.In a brand new interview with The Telegraph, Dickinson says that Cardiff Aviation is in discussions with the Civil Aviation Authority about setting up an airline. "Subject to approvals, we'll be in the air within the next 50 days," he reveals. "Clearly that fits with the maintenance — both operations need each other." He adds: "The next stage is rebuilding Astraeus, but with proper governance. The market is ripe for an outsourcing airline that provides extra capacity. "We want to provide British jobs, British pilots and British-operated aircraft." According to Dickinson, Cardiff Aviation is now employing 60 to 70 people, with salaries being paid from profits, which Dickinson is proud of. "We have, at the moment, one full-time maintenance shift, and as we've funded it all ourselves, our costs are nailed to the floor," he says. "We've identified what I think is a gap in the market, at a time when people are outsourcing in very narrow ways saying we need to send our aeroplanes thousands of miles away from one place to another place for different types of maintenance and painting.
"We are a one-stop shop," he says. "The first thing we did was set up a paint facility, as 70 percent of the work we get is as a result of people saying 'we need to paint an aircraft.'" Read more from The Telegraph.