Coming off its best first quarter yet in the Asia-Pacific (APAC) region, hourly cost maintenance provider JSSI (Booth A631) is seeing growth in several areas, including traction in its still relatively young helicopter business, said Jaslyn Chan, president of JSSI Asia.
“We're now quite focused on the helicopter market and see a lot of potential, whether it's in mainland China or in Southeast Asia, or even in Australia and New Zealand,” Chan said, adding that while JSSI has offered helicopter services in the past, “We simply haven’t been focused on them previously. Now we’re looking at a portfolio of services.”
With this concentrated look at the niche, Chan added that the firm has received numerous inquiries from potential customers. “We’re growing steadily,” she said, pointing to a range of helicopter services that are interested, such as search-and-rescue and utility operations. These are operators with “really healthy [flight] hours,” making them quality prospects, Chan added. Along with China, JSSI is seeing increased demand in Australia and New Zealand.
On the fixed-wing side, JSSI is still seeing business tilt toward the heavy jet category, still its largest portfolio in the region. New aircraft sales in the China region have slowed a little, Chan conceded, but she added that is offset from other areas. “We have a big region, so it's quite nice that Southeast Asia really picked up—the same as Australia and New Zealand. So for the region, we are very positive.”
Sales in China to new customers have been more difficult than to experienced operators, she noted, adding that resales to customers in China have been strong.
The China market is still relatively new, Chan explained, where there initially is a lot of cash. But after operating business jets for a few years, there is the realization of increased maintenance costs or that an AOG can occur. “That never really occurred to them because they look at it as a brand-new asset [that doesn’t break down]. After the first experience, they really see the value of having [an hourly cost maintenance] program.”
But beyond growth in its maintenance cost programs, JSSI has received substantial interest in a range of advisory services, including the complementary products from its new affiliate Conklin and de Decker that it acquired last year, as well as from its parts business.
Pointing to the organic growth JSSI is experiencing, Chan attributes this success to having “boots on the ground” within the APAC region and a regional team that is able to reach out to the customer base. Also, there has been a growing recognition on the positive effects of the JSSI programs on resale values, she said.
“We have a very strong team now,” Chan said, noting the firm has six technical advisors in the region, along with dedicated business development directors for different regions. She called this approach a “sweet spot” because it gives them specific technical expertise, along with team members with geographical insight. “We have a very, very strong presence in the region and we're well positioned. We’re in good shape for growth.”
As for the parts business, JSSI is seeing double-digit growth and has a dedicated person in the APAC region. Chan said she has been talking with potential partners for parts warehousing in the region to help further exploit opportunities there.
JSSI brought a large team to ABACE 2019. “We’re very serious about the region and it has fantastic potential,” she said. “ABACE is a very big show for us.”
On the opening day of ABACE, JSSI is set to award its Choice Awards to businesses selected by attendees of its annual Business Aircraft Management and Maintenance Conference, an event it has held in mainland China for the past five years.