Jet Aviation Dubai and Jet Aviation Basel, which have quite different operations and capacities, are both engaged in a process to better serve their customers as they cope with the demands of increasing business. Management and employees are asking, “What can we do to help our customers?,” said Andre Wall, COO of Jet Aviation EMEA and Asia.
In Dubai that includes finding out if customers want a Jet Aviation facility at the new Al Maktoum International Airport at Dubai World Center, now under construction in Jebel Ali and scheduled to begin limited operations in two years.
“Our Dubai operation is growing in importance in Jet Aviation’s portfolio,” Wall said. “It is now in a new phase. Previously, we had to bring in capabilities, ensure we had the necessary know-how and establish the face of Jet Aviation. Now, with increasing demand, we are becoming very ‘customer-centric’—ramping up to a new Jet Aviation standard.”
The company’s maintenance and FBO in Dubai, established in 2005, has 4,200 square meters (45,200 square feet) of hangar space, 1,000 square meters (10,760 square feet) of workshop area and a two-story FBO with an area of 1,050 square meters (11,300 square feet). “We know we need to expand, and we’re looking at where to do this,” Wall said. “We’re watching the Dubai World Center, but our starting point is: ‘What do our customers need from us?’”
Wall added that the appointment of Martin Bernegger as senior vice president and general manager of Jet Aviation Dubai, which becomes effective on January 1, will help the facility negotiate its next phase. “Martin’s technical background and excellent knowledge of the business aviation industry will help establish our Dubai operation as the MRO center of choice in the Middle East,” said Wall.
Jet Aviation Basel, a major aircraft completion center established in 1967, has six huge hangars covering some 21,000 square meters (226,000 square feet) that can accommodate aircraft as large as the Airbus A380. It is building a seventh 9,600-square-meter hangar (103,333 square feet), employs more than 1,400 people and is adding up to 400 more. It is going through its own expansion while improving its relationship with customers.
“We’ve changed our previous methodology in work flow to deliver 24 aircraft a year,” Wall explained. “We have eight work stations and dedicated tool kits and technicians at each station. Aircraft move from one station to the next every two weeks.”
The Basel operation also has a team dedicated to customer improvements. “Their job is to continually look at ways we can help our customers and how to increase throughput,” he said.
One way to do both is to increase employment and make better use of the skilled technicians already employed. Explained Wall, “We’ve found ways to decrease the amount of time qualified engineers spend on administrative work. When training new employees, we focus on getting them up to the Jet Aviation standard as soon as possible, training them to focus on the customer—VIPs and OEMs. But we also focus on our employees. We call them ‘MIPs,’ which for us means ‘Most Important Persons.’”
Here at the Dubai Air Show, Jet Aviation Basel announced that it has signed completions contracts or letters of intent for two A340s, four Boeing Business Jets and three Boeing 787s scheduled for completion through 2014. This year the completions center delivered two Airbus ACJs, one Avro RJ70, one 747-400, one 727 and 13 Dassault Falcons (50, 900 and 2000). Jet Aviation is exhibiting at Stand E546 and has Chalet A13.