We catch up with Stefan Verkaik, who leads the Aftermarket Sales & Services, AOG (Aircraft on Ground), and Pre-Purchase Inspection (PPI) Services teams at Jet Aviation Basel.
Stefan, you sport a rather impressive portfolio! Can you tell us more about how all of this started for you?
It does seem like a broad scope indeed! However, the Aftermarket, AOG and PPI teams share a common thread – they all provide support to customers when they are not under scheduled maintenance/modifications at any of our locations.
I first took over the Aftersales portfolio in July 2018. One of the first things we did was to change its name to ‘Aftermarket Sales & Services’ to align with the industry. The eight-member Aftermarket team supports customers whose aircraft are not currently at one of our facilities for scheduled maintenance, modifications, or upgrades, but are rather in the air and operating. That’s when they need our support, whether it’s provisioning of parts, component repairs (relying on our internal shop capabilities extensively) or standalone engineering services, such as the development of Service Bulletins (SBs) and Supplemental Type Certificates (STCs) that are sold as standalone packages, STC validations for other aviation authorities, engineering packages, documentation retrieval, etc. In fact, in response to increased demand for engineering services the past couple of years, we are now proactively developing SBs.
In addition, we support off-base repairs, working closely with our NDT engineers to dispatch needed personnel to the customer’s location.
“Aftermarket, AOG and PPI teams share a common thread – they all provide support to customers when they are not under scheduled maintenance/modifications at any of our location”
That’s fantastic! How did you get involved with AOG and PPI Services then?
I took over our dedicated AOG team and the PPI Services teams in October 2020. A team of nine highly skilled and licensed mechanics and three duty managers make up our AOG team, working in shifts to support 24/7 coverage. We support a broad range of business jet types (Bombardier, Dassault, Embraer, Gulfstream) and work closely with our Large Aircraft teams to cover emergencies on Airbus and Boeing aircraft platforms as well. We’ve recently welcomed a dedicated AOG mechanic based in Dubai to our team, this will enable a faster response to AOGs across the Middle Eastern region. Right now, we are running a global alignment exercise to ensure we provide our AOG customers consistent service, no matter where they are located.
With our PPI Services team, we’re employing a new strategy. On top of supporting the PPIs conducted in our hangars with the documentation reviews., We are looking to set up the team in a way that allows us to offer and perform Documentation Reviews as a standalone service. This strategy has us identifying potential customers to create this awareness and initiating conversations to understand how we can support their requirements and operations better. Our new team email address ([email protected]) and marketing campaign are helping to position us optimally in the market.
That sounds very well-organized. Can you share some insights to your teams’ success?
We believe in never saying ‘no’ to a customer. Our teams will always try to explore possible solutions for our customers, even if the solution may come from outside the Jet Aviation / General Dynamics family. This helps our customers recognize us as a solutions-driven team, working in their best interests. Having the customers’ interests at heart also drives us to consider solutions that may be offered at other locations, or subcontracted solutions. For example, our Aftermarket team is successfully supporting some customers on aircraft types that we do not have base maintenance capabilities within the EMEA region.
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