Hourly maintenance cost provider Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI) has launched new programs covering airframe work on Embraer’s Phenom 100 and 300 light jets. The new Phenom Airframe Program enhances the Brazilian manufacturer’s standard warranties and covers virtually all airframe parts, components, assemblies and systems.
The U.S.-based company provides fixed cost-per-flight hour rates for maintenance provided by approved contractors, including parts and labor for all scheduled and unscheduled maintenance. According to JSSI (Stand 5015), it gives aircraft owners and operators the assurance of predictable maintenance costs and 24/7 support from the company’s worldwide team of technical and client services personnel.
“We have been providing engine coverage for a significant number of Phenom owners and operators over the last several years. It is with great pleasure that we now offer Phenom owners airframe coverage as JSSI is synonymous with Tip-to-Tail coverage,” stated Kevin Thomas, vice president for strategic planning and business development. “We are committed to providing our customer base with an unparalleled service experience and will continue to work diligently to develop the most innovative engine, airframe and APU programs on the market.”
Thomas told AIN that Latin America is a key new market for the company, which recently opened a new office in São Paulo to expand its network in the region. This includes sales and technical support staff.
Provides Customer Backup
JSSI’s technical support experts do not make airworthiness decisions about the aircraft and engines the company’s programs support, but they do act as important backup to its clients. “They are an extension of the maintenance teams, almost like a pseudo director of maintenance [for the operators],” explained Thomas. “When the time comes for an inspection, our technical service people go into the [maintenance] shop as an advocate for the customer, walking them through the process to get best practice.”
Latin America is one of the world’s fastest growing markets for technical support, and JSSI sees the fleet there increasing to more than 2,500 aircraft over the next 10 years. This will include a 40-percent rise in new aircraft arriving to expand existing fleets and another 15-percent boost in aircraft being delivered to replace existing equipment.
According to Thomas, JSSI, which provides coverage for more than 325 different makes and models of jets, turboprops and helicopters, is well placed to expand its customer base in a region that has a very diverse fleet. “We help operators reduce their overheads in managing maintenance programs and provide a single point of contact,” he said. “This is the only thing we do and we provide the best hourly service in the world and the best available pricing.”
In May, JSSI signed a contract with Swiss operator Air King Jet that represented the 10,000th aviation asset to be covered by its maintenance programs. The deal covers Platinum support for the engines and auxiliary power units on the Geneva-based company’s new Bombardier Global 6000.
Chicago-based JSSI has been providing maintenance programs for aircraft engines, airframes and APUs since 1989. Similar to an insurance policy, the customer makes regular payments, and maintenance is completely covered under the program.
The ultimate in full maintenance coverage at JSSI is its Tip-to-Tail program, covering airframe, engines and APU. The all-inclusive program covers virtually every assembly and system on board with one contract, making JSSI the single contact for all maintenance, scheduled or unscheduled. The program also covers regular preventive maintenance, inspections and replacement of life-limited components.
The regular payments are usually based on the number of hours the aircraft flies, and the service provider (it could be the engine or airframe manufacturer, or a third-party maintenance organization) covers the maintenance and is reimbursed by JSSI. The program is attractive to corporate flight departments, in particular, because it spreads out the expense of aircraft maintenance into regular payments that are easier to track and fit into a corporate budget. It eliminates the possibility of high-cost surprises.
According to JSSI CEO Neil Book, having an asset protected through these maintenance programs also protects the owner’s investment. Aircraft that are maintained under such programs are far more valuable on the pre-owned market, the company claims, and buyers know that operators of JSSI aircraft are encouraged to address every issue, since the work is already “paid for.” Parts are also less expensive based on bulk buying power since JSSI works with large numbers of aircraft.
Another advantage is the group’s network of affiliated shops throughout the world. Should the operator need unscheduled service on a trip outside its usual itinerary, it’s helpful to know that JSSI knows whom to call to get the airplane off the ground again.