Small- and medium-sized North American OEMs can find the European market challenging in terms of the need to provide engineering and customer support for products. It is this need that UK-based Aerospace Representatives Ltd. (ARL) is seeking to plug by offering to be more than just a sales representative in the region.
For a retainer payment on top of sales commissions, ARL will assist with getting the necessary engineering approvals through the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), as well as helping to establish a product support infrastructure on that side of the Atlantic. “We want to be more than just an order-taker, visiting customers with a catalog,” explained ARL founder Chris Nicholls. He was formerly a co-owner of cabin systems specialist IEC, which he sold to U.S. group Intheairnet.
ARL’s roster of OEMs already includes cabin display and in-flight entertainment specialist Rosen Aviation (Booth No. 1484), aircraft management and noise reduction system supplier AIMS and electronic flight bag installer ABC Completions (Booth No. 1964). It also handles marketing for completions engineering house H4 Aerospace UK, and is here at NBAA this week seeking to add more cabin interior equipment makers to its portfolio.
“We believe we are different from traditional sales representatives in that we offer our principals a means to access new and existing market sectors using our strong engineering background and by being proactive in seeking relationships as preferred suppliers for them from a design requirement through product life cycle,” Nicholls told NBAA Convention News. “Large completions centers and aircraft OEMs alike are now demanding a more local presence dealing not just with sales procurement but the general day-to-day issues on both a technical engineering basis and that of continued support.”
Meanwhile, H4 Aerospace itself has just won two contracts to handle the engineering and EASA certification for major VIP cabin refurbishments for a pair of Boeing 757 aircraft. This work will be conducted by the company’s new offices in Hamburg, Germany, and Budapest, Hungary. The company is partly owned by Swiss aircraft management and charter firm PrivatAir and has overseen refit work on its Boeing Business Jet and Boeing 757 fleet. It also has UK offices at Hemel Hempstead and Hawarden (close to the Raytheon Aircraft Services maintenance and refurbishment facility). Lufthansa Technik is also a client.