JSSI Looks To Expand Helicopter Support

 - August 11, 2014, 11:01 PM
Damaris Gonzales (l), account manager JSSI Latin America, and Cleide Socolovithc, client relationship manager Latin America; both are based at the company’s Chicago headquarters.

With a name such as Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI), one might be excused for believing the Chicago, Illinois-based company specializes in service for only business jets, but that is certainly not the case. The hourly cost maintenance provider, a longtime LABACE supporter, which has exhibited at every single show, is attending this year’s 11th edition with a focus on its “tip-to-tail” maintenance programs for rotorcraft.

“Of course there are lots of business jets [at LABACE], so we will be very happy to talk with customers who are interested in those kinds of programs as well,” said Susan Marr, JSSI’s executive vice president and chief administrative officer, “but our understanding is there is a large underserved market for helicopters in Latin America and we are going to be there for them.”

According industry data provider Jetnet, the 2,045 turbine-powered helicopters currently operating in South America (1,200 in Brazil alone) represents nearly twice the amount of business jets in the region. “We have been providing programs for helicopters at JSSI since 1995, but I think a lot of people don’t know about them,” Marr told AIN. “We just haven’t made it an emphasis in our marketing.”

For 2014, JSSI (Booth 3004) has made a commitment to expand its helicopter support, starting with the recent addition of Raymond Weiser, formerly vice president of sales and business development for maintenance provider and parts distributor EuroTec, to its staff in the newly created position of helicopter program specialist. Under Weiser’s guidance, the company established new maintenance coverage programs for the Bell 429 light twin-engine and the AgustaWestland 119Ke/Kx single turbine helicopters, which were announced at LABACE.

Marr said she expects the company will see exponential growth in its helicopter business over the next several years, as it adds to its service plan offerings. She added that if the company doesn’t already have a program on a particular helicopter, “we are probably working to develop one.”

JSSI currently has 12 Portuguese- and Spanish-speaking staff members among its technical-services, client-services and sales teams dedicated to serving its Latin American clients, including three based in the region.

Celebrating its 25th anniversary this year, JSSI began its history as a business jet maintenance coverage provider, with a Learjet as its first enrolled aircraft back in 1989. Given that, according to data provider Jetnet, South America has the world’s second highest concentration of Lears in operation (259) after North America, the company chose this year’s LABACE stage to announce the launch of its tip-to-tail hourly cost maintenance program for the Learjet 70/75 light jets, which began deliveries at the end of last year.

Introduced in 1997, JSSI’s tip-to-tail programs cover an aircraft’s engines, airframe and auxiliary power unit, eliminating the need to deal with multiple service providers. “Our programs not only enhance a new aircraft warranty but provide operators a single source for complete coverage with a predicable maintenance budget and superior JSSI 24/7 service,” said company president and CEO Neil Book. JSSI now offers coverage plans for 21 different Lear models and will include the new top-of-the-line Learjet 85 when it enters service.