Danish supplier seeks bigger slice of business aviation pie

 - May 17, 2008, 6:23 AM

zLeki Aviation, a Copenhagen, Denmark-based company providing product support and services to the aviation industry has come to EBACE’08 (Booth No. 1647) to claim a bigger share of the business aviation sector. With a global network of customers and warehouses, the company markets parts, service and support on behalf of OEMs and component manufacturers.

“Our ‘commuter and corporate’ division accounts for about 20 percent of our business,” COO Klavs Larsen told EBACE Convention News. He said the company found it worthwhile to have a booth at EBACE’07 and has optimistically returned to the venue.

Leki distributes replacement parts and repair equipment manufactured by a number of companies. “The products range from interior parts to wheels and brakes,” Larsen said. For example, in February at the Singapore Airshow, Crane Aerospace & Electronics announced a deal with Leki to distribute its aftermarket products and services in Eastern Europe. Customers range from small executive air charter operators to large operations such as Jet Aviation.

The company also offers component marketing services to manufacturers via a 12-month plan that consists of personal meetings, direct mail and e-marketing. This obviates the need for a manufacturer to send representatives to customers and also affords manufacturers exposure through Leki’s participation at shows
and conferences worldwide. “We are a lean sales and distribution company,” Larsen stated.

Leki claims to have a good access to hard-to-find items as a consequence of its “long-standing relationship with manufacturers and our customers,” Larsen said. For example, a few months ago when a customer requested a hard-to-find item, a Leki employee spotted one in another customer’s excess inventory. As a result, the customer was served in hours rather than the possible 90 days it might have taken the OEM to manufacture the part to satisfy the request, Larsen said. “Sometimes when an aircraft type is aging, the manufacturer feels less incentive to keep replacement parts stores well supplied, which explains why some items are difficult to find,” he said.

The company addresses AOG (aircraft-on-the-ground) issues on a 24-hour basis. After regular office hours, an employee stands on call off site, with access to the communication equipment needed to order a part. In instances of dire need, Leki has flown an employee to a customer’s location, even chartering an airplane to do so. The most common procedure, however, is to use a small package shipper, such as FedEx.

Leki’s main business deals with airlines and maintenance, repair and overhaul companies. In addition to its warehouse in Copenhagen, the firm has locations near London, in Singapore and in the U.S., where it recently moved its storage facility from New Jersey to Sunrise, Florida. “And we are adding China to this list,” Larsen said. All sites are networked to enable an employee anywhere in the world to check availability of data anywhere, around the clock.

With a staff numbering 60, Leki claims to have some 100,000 different part numbers available. It does not currently offer helicopter parts, but could one day, using the company’s existing framework, Larsen said.