While the last few years have seen the UK and European flight case market face numerous challenges as a result of stiff competition from Far Eastern imports, Swanflight has remained true to its basic principles of quality, speed, customer service and customisation.
With over 10 years of experience in the design and manufacture of standard off-the-shelf and custom built flight cases, Cleveland-based Swanflight is “big enough to take on the largest of jobs, but still small enough to care”.
Although Swanflight’s main business is centred around the entertainment production industry, its client roster also spans the Ministry of Defence, health, catering, I.T., offshore industries and the Police.
The company prides itself on being able to turn around production of a totally custom case, from design to delivery, within three to five days — sometimes within 24 hours depending on the customer’s requirements.
A recent impressive example of Swanflight’s speed of service was when it designed, built and shipped 1,400 cases to mobile phone giant Nokia for a special promotion, within four weeks of initial contact. As general manager Sean Dodds claimed: “That’s a service the Far East can’t compete with.”
Swanflight uses flight case fittings supplied by top British company Penn Elcom, and with only 30 miles separating each firm’s headquarters, there is not only quick access to every available part stocked by Penn Elcom, but also the possibility for fast turnaround of customised parts.
The Butterfly Door was a great example of Swanflight’s inventive genius. With the introduction of front-loading CD players for DJs, the need for an access hatch became increasingly necessary. While other case manufacturers went down the route of a removable (and easily lost) wooden access panel, Swanflight was determined not to follow the same trend, and its designers and workshop team responded with a clever prototype.
A few weeks later, the first shipment arrived from the trusty Penn Fabrication (as it was then known). Four years on, the Butterfly Door has evolved with newer and different-sized versions, but the basic design principle remains.