Niki Lauda is set to become the latest European client for hourly-cost maintenance provider Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI). The Austrian former Formula 1 racecar driver and airliner entrepreneur is to sign up his new Bombardier Global 5000 business jet for the company’s Platinum program here at the EBACE show.
JSSI now has more than 400 European clients, two years after improving responsiveness to international clients, having opened offices at the London-area Farnborough Airport back in April 2010. It is now 20 years since it signed up its first European operator in 1992, and now the U.S.-based group is setting its sights on markets further afield in the Middle East and Asia.
In addition to power-by-the-hour engine support contracts, JSSI also offers its Tip-to-Tail programs covering the airframe, engines, APU and avionics. These include all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance for a fixed rate per flight hour. To keep operators in the air, the company provides supplemental lift, loaner parts for AOG situations, and 24/7 technical support.
According to JSSI, aircraft operators benefit from its independent approach to managing maintenance in the sense that it is neutral as to which maintenance, repair and overhaul vendor to use. They also have significant flexibility in that they have one point of contact to handle support for a fleet that could include several different aircraft types. Furthermore, if they are changing aircraft they can transfer account balances from the one they are replacing, holding money in the account between transactions when necessary.
With the exception of small and urgent line repairs, all maintenance work is conducted by factory-owned or –authorized service centers. When an operators’ flying activity is reduced, JSSI will recalculate contract terms to make them more cost effective.
JSSI was founded 1989 and today claims to be the largest independent provider of hourly cost maintenance programs for virtually all aircraft engine types, auxiliary power units and airframes. The Chicago-based company offers comprehensive, flexible financial programs designed to manage hard-to-predict costs of operating and maintaining jets, turboprops and helicopters.
The company is currently expanding the customers it serves globally by adding certified technical advisers to its worldwide infrastructure. JSSI’s office in Dubai has expanded its presence in the Middle East and it expects to open an office in Hong Kong by the end of July, with plans also to add a second technical advisor in mainland China.
“The trend in Asia is bigger, newer, large cabin long-range,” JSSI chairman and CEO Louis Seno told AIN. “We recognize that and we have really upped our support with those aircraft because we are expecting substantial growth there.”
Seno said that finding loaner engines for some larger jets can be a problem. JSSI has purchased a pair of BR710 engines, (manufactured by Rolls-Royce, powering the Bombardier Global Express and others) in an attempt to guarantee availability of loaner engines for its clients.
“Within a week or two of delivery we deployed the first one right to mainland China,” said Seno. “If we can’t get you engines we will reimburse you for charter necessitated because your aircraft isn’t flying; we call it supplemental lift. We introduced that at NBAA 2010 and that’s been great peace of mind for the directors of maintenance handling those aircraft.”
The company recently brought on Neil Book as a co-president. His fellow co-president and general counsel Susan Marr explained that the move was motivated by the desire to free up Seno to fulfill his new position as a director of the U.S. General Aviation Manufacturers Association. JSSI was recently admitted to GAMA as the first pure service organization in the group.
“Neil leads our sales and marketing effort, while I’m on the client services and HR side,” said Marr. “He’s come on bringing phenomenal expertise. He’s got the technical background we require, and he brings fresh, new insights. He is currently leading our tech services operations team. Those guys are out in the field. They serve our clients and are the face of the company.”
Finally, JSSI (Stand 939) recently forged an agreement with AvFuel CEO Craig Sincock (who sits on JSSI’s board of advisers) that allows AvFuel’s Avplan contract fuel clients full access to JSSI’s 24/7 support network. “They can get help from one of our technical advisers even if they aren’t JSSI clients,” explained Seno.