Aftermarket maintenance specialist Jet Support Services Inc. (JSSI, Booth 4835) brings a new “fully integrated” brand identity to NBAA-BACE 2022. It is also highlighting its portfolio of guaranteed-cost maintenance plans, data services, and maintenance-tracking and inventory-management solutions at the show.
Chicago-based JSSI began expanding beyond its core flight-hour-based maintenance plans around the middle of the last decade, establishing a parts and engine leasing business, then buying operating-cost specialist Conklin & de Decker in 2018, and last year adding the data analytics, maintenance, and records tracking services SierraTrax and Traxxall. But, said president and CEO Neil Book. “We’ve been housing the services under different brands.”
After recently completing a backend integration, said Book, “we are a much broader brand,” represented by four divisions: maintenance programs, parts and leasing, maintenance software, and advisory services.
While merging its companies’ operations, JSSI found little overlap among their customers, presenting opportunities to cross-sell and create bundled, value-added service packages, Book said.
JSSI’s software-as-a-service (SaaS) offerings include aircraft maintenance tracking, parts inventory management, repair and overhaul workflow management; and cloud-based software.
The company's core guaranteed-cost maintenance business has continued to grow, with more than 2,000 business jets, or about 10 percent of the global fleet, now under contract, Book said. The parts and engine leasing business “crossed the $100 million threshold in revenue” in 2021, and JSSI now has some 50 jet engines “across every make and model” available for lease.
Given the number of aircraft under maintenance plans, the information JSSI collects on flight hours and other operational metrics provides valuable data on fleet trends, and the trajectory story of the last two years has been “the remarkable flight-hour growth,” said Book. After 2019 registered “the highest per-aircraft flight-hour reporting we'd ever seen, we saw dramatic growth in 2021," he added. "It was just a remarkable year, which has continued into 2022."
Latin America is developing into “a very fertile place for us” and appears primed for growth, said the company’s v-p for business development, David Caporali. JSSI has 350 to 400 aircraft in its various support programs throughout the region and has seen a recent double-digit surge in business flying in Brazil and strong increases in Mexico.
Contributing to Brazil’s growth, Caporali said, is the "much more professional approach" that operators are taking to aviation recently, due to the wider adoption of best practices and the asset-protection requirements of aircraft financiers. JSSI's coverage plans also eliminate parts-supply issues that have hobbled many operators in the region.
“We have relationships with more than 400 vendors, so we can use that to leverage in a moment like now when there are parts shortages,” Caporali said. JSSI also sees a growing opportunity to serve Brazil’s large offshore oil and gas helicopter market.
One sour spot on the books: JSSI’s “end-of-life solutions” program for acquiring and parting out jets that are no longer in service has been struggling. Due to today’s unprecedented demand for lift, fewer jets are finding their way to the scrap heap.
“We typically acquire 15 to 25 aircraft a year to part out and tear down, and we don't require a pre-purchase inspection because we're not looking to keep the airplane flying,” said Book. “Now we’re competing with people who intend to fly it, but they're not even making [their offer] contingent on a pre-purchase inspection.”
Last year, JSSI put in more than 100 offers on end-of-life aircraft,” Book said, “And we acquired just two Citation Bravos.”