NBAA Convention News

JSSI Sees Growth in China and Brazil

 - October 9, 2011, 2:59 PM

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), an hourly cost maintenance program provider for airframes and engines, has 110 employees worldwide and a footprint on every continent. And it’s not enough.

Among the countries JSSI sees in a rapid growth pattern are China and Brazil. According to chairman and CEO Lou Seno, the Chicago-based company (Booth No. 3562) participated in the Business Aviation Summit sponsored by the Asian Business Aviation Association in Hong Kong in March and expects to have a large presence at the ABACE Asian Business Aviation Conference and Exhibition next March.

And he noted that JSSI now has a tech advisor in London who covers Asia. To create a full-time presence in the region, JSSI is in discussions with a technical organization based in Asia to represent the company. “Chinese buyers are purchasing new and longer-range airplanes, and that fits our market sweet spot,” he said.
Seno also pointed out that JSSI had a large presence at the Latin American Business Aviation Conference & Exhibition in São Paulo, Brazil this year and “it was a very, very active show.”

In the last two years, Seno said JSSI’s two client advisory boards–one domestic and one European–have made an impact. The more recent is the European board, launched two years ago at the European Business Aviation Convention & Exhibition (EBACE). “We’ve now had two meetings at EBACE and a third is scheduled for the same show in 2012.”
In an interview with AIN, executive v-p and general counsel Susan Marr said JSSI recognized that the engine rental pool has become rather shallow, so it is searching for a solution that will ease customer access to engines during an overhaul period. Last year, JSSI announced a supplemental lift program for is customers that would provide supplemental lift or cover the cost of charter if a temporary replacement engine was not available. While the program has proven popular, explained Marr, it isn’t the ideal solution that JSSI is looking for.

On a broader note, Seno said JSSI has weathered the storm of the economic downturn. “Our enrollment tracks aircraft transactions, and while enrollments have been sluggish, we have stayed financially healthy and been able to keep expanding.

“We have made a substantial investment in people, such as the technical advisors we have just hired, and an investment in infrastructure as well.” JSSI recently announced the hiring of industry veterans and Rolls-Royce engine experts Edward Ballif as a product line specialist and Zane Cox as a technical advisor.

He concluded that although enrollments “are not ticking along at a fast pace, there was an increase in flying this summer that we hope continues through the fall and the end of the year. With that and a relaxing of fuel prices, maybe people are getting back into the business of doing business.”