Raytheon Aircraft, which has ranked very low in customer-support surveys for the past several years, is in the midst of retooling its customer services to close the gap with its competitors in a program it calls customer relationship management.
Signature is in the process of developing a new national pricing strategy to replace its current Prime Rate program. The new program, scheduled to be introduced in April, is designed to generate more individual “face time” with the chain’s widely varied client base. As part of the reorganization, company management has been streamlined, with two newly titled regional sales vice presidents splitting the 44 Signature locations nationwide.
Signature Flight Support is restructuring its pricing policy and will phase out the Prime Rate program. The new pricing format, to be phased in starting later this year, will focus on customized pricing programs for as many individual customers as possible.
Executive Beechcraft’s three Kansas City area FBOs (owned by BBA Aviation) have joined Avfuel’s dealer network and will offer Avtrip reward points and contract fuel pricing to participating pilots. Avfuel also announced that Craig Air Center in Jacksonville, Fla., has become an Avfuel dealer, and participating customers can receive Avtrip points and Avfuel contract pricing.
Rapid (Raytheon Aircraft parts inventory and distribution) has launched the largest parts price-reduction campaign in the company’s history. The prices of some 10,000 parts will be reduced, some by more than 50 percent. Customers can view part price updates at www.raytheonaircraftparts.com.
At the NBAA Convention last month, EMS Technologies announced that it will begin delivering its new four-channel HSD-400 satcom data terminal early next year. The product initially will support four channels of Inmarsat Swift64 and, according to the Ottawa, Canada-based company, can be upgraded to handle SwiftBroadband (formerly BGAN) service when Inmarsat launches its new I4 satellites in early 2006.
Jet Fleet International (JFI), a Los Angeles-based company that arranges discounts for products and services for members, last month introduced a fuel discount program currently available at 268 FBOs in the U.S. “Our goal is to get fuel prices 75 cents to $1 lower than the posted airfield price,” said JFI president Finn Moller.
Some markets that have refused to pick up thus far, despite attractive pricing, might finally spark buyer interest this year. The Gulfstream II and GIII as well as the Challenger 600 may have felt all the pain they are going to. Some buyers have described the GII as a throwaway aircraft, meaning simply that if they buy one, they will do so with the intent of parking it once the engines have no more useful life.
Mike Redenbaugh has made quite an impact at Bell in the 18 months since he became the company’s CEO. He moved in at something of a low point in the company’s fortunes, with an aging product line and the embarrassment of competitor Eurocopter claiming more than 50 percent of the domestic turbine market.
For corporate aircraft passengers whose airborne Internet ambitions don’t extend beyond retrieving and sending e-mail, ASI, a small Australian communications engineering firm, is offering FreeMail, a service that allows users to access an e-mail inbox page and view the headers of waiting messages free of charge.