Interair shows opportunities for growth at EF

Part of the Essendon Fields’ family since 1979, Interair has long been a fixture in their Hangar 86 base, providing a variety of aviation services. Over an incredible 44 year tenure the company has grown and diversified to now becoming one of the most versatile aviation companies in Australia.

Owner and Director of Interair, Ernie Shapanis, has been with the company for almost just as long.

“I started at the company as an apprentice back in the 80’s, becoming a shareholder in the business 13 years ago. About four years ago I took over the reigns fully,” said Mr Shapanis.

Interair began life as the local distributor and maintenance centre for the Japanese aircraft, Mitsubishi MU-2.

“Over time our service centre has grown to further deliver maintenance to major business jet clients and private aircraft owners,” he said.

In addition, the company early on moved into the aircraft charter business, facilitated by the purchase of its first aircraft – a King Air B-200. Later, two Piper Navajo aircraft were purchased as the company’s charter business grew from strength to strength.

Encouraged to continue to pursue opportunities in the aviation industry, in 2002 Interair also introduced its own flight training school, aided by the business purchasing a Cessna 182, a Piper Seminole and two Cessna 172s. Every year the flying school produces a number of private and commercial pilots and continues to grow in size.

After getting his own start in the industry as an apprentice, Ernie is passionate about supporting the next generation of aviation enthusiasts.

“Starting an apprenticeship can be an exciting time. Learning the ins and outs of running a business from a seasoned pro is like having a backstage pass to an entrepreneurial concert. Sure, you can read all the books and watch all the Youtube videos, but there’s nothing quite like hands-on experience. As a company we will always continue to employ apprentices, and we also encourage students doing work experience to spend some time with us at Interair,” said Mr Shapanis.

GM Aviation Matt Marais congratulated Ernie on an outstanding 44 years at Essendon Fields Airport.

“Companies like Interair exemplify what we cherish about the aviation industry – enthusiastic and dedicated professionals excelling in their passions and nurturing new talent to stay within the industry. Interair’s diverse business model not only highlights multiple facets of the industry but also cultivates an open and welcoming environment dedicated to fostering growth,” said Mr Marais.

“Essendon Fields Airport is my second home. I’ve worked here that long! It has really been transformed from an aviation point of view in my time. At Essendon we see a lot more corporate aircraft, more commercial aircraft and of course an enormous increase in activity from police and emergency services aircraft nowadays,” said Mr Shapanis.

“Plus great to see the addition of Coles and LaManna. Very convenient to grab groceries on the way home!”

For more information on Interair, or for contact details, please click here.