Firm is flying high thanks to Libya deal

Amstrong Aviation: Managing Director Neil Armstrong with manager Deborah Wilkinson.
Amstrong Aviation: Managing Director Neil Armstrong with manager Deborah Wilkinson.

An Ilkeston uniform manufacturer is flying high after landing a £250,000 contract to make the workwear for a private Libyan airline.

Staff at Armstrong Aviation Clothing, based at Armstrong Mill, worked day and night to complete the order after the private airline got in touch at the end of last year asking the company to manufacture their uniforms.

Managing director Neil Wright told the Advertiser it was hard to believe when the initial call came through.

He said: “Whenever you get an export order through you always get a really good feeling but at the same time there’s a lot of work involved, so along with the excitement there’s always the worry something might go wrong.

“There were times when it did seem too good to be true, they asked me for suggestions and took my guidance on everything.

“It was like they were spending £250, not £250,000.

“After weeks of negotiations and conversations the letter of credit arrived. Until then I hadn’t let myself take the order seriously.”

After the payment was guaranteed the small team of eight staff at the Middleton Street factory pulled extra shifts to make sure the order was complete.

Neil said: “We’ve got an excellent team and everyone rallied round and worked together to get the order done.

“They were all too pleased to help.”

The company also joined the Ilkeston Chamber of Commerce, which put them in touch with Export Services in Long Eaton who took care of the paperwork involved with such a big order.

As a result of the order the same airline has now been in touch about another batch of uniforms with negotiations currently ongoing.

Neil said: “Although the order isn’t as big we’re really pleased that the same airline has come back to us.

“We pride ourselves on the quality of our work, a pilot can’t ever look like he’s just got up, he has to look like it’s his wedding day every day and that’s what we aim for.”