ACC COLUMBIA Jet Service: Providing Support Anytime, Anywhere
When one challenge arrives on the heels of another, ACC COLUMBIA Jet Service leans on its flexibility to continue to go above and beyond for its customers.
ACC COLUMBIA Jet Service didn’t build its reputation as a leader in aircraft repair and maintenance through scheduled and planned events alone.
“Being a preferred maintenance facility requires that one go above and beyond what’s expected, or planned,” says Nils Janßen, Managing Director at ACC COLUMBIA Jet Service (ACC). “It also requires being flexible enough to support a customer’s needs whenever and wherever an AOG situation occurs.”
And flexible ACC is.
Specialising in small, midsize, and large cabin aircraft, the company offers around-the-clock maintenance services from its facilities at Hanover and Cologne/Bonn airports. These facilities, along with satellite line maintenance stations in Cyprus and additional support units in Wegberg and Mitterskirchen, mean ACC is well-positioned to support their customers anytime, anywhere.
Take for example an instance when an AOG on a Cessna Citation Jet II in Palma de Mallorca and one for a Bombardier Global Express in Moscow came in at the same time. “Within hours of receiving the calls, our technicians were in the air and on their way to both destinations,” recalls Janßen. “Upon arrival, they fixed the issues and had the aircraft airworthy again in less than 48 hours.”
When the Challenges Hit Right at Home
Of course, not all challenges happen in far off places – sometimes they hit right at home, as was the case with the COVID-19 pandemic.
For Janßen, the challenge was ensuring the health and safety of ACC’s employees. “We immediately implemented a number of internal measures, such as establishing disinfection stations, reducing the administrative team’s onsite presence, and enabling more flexible working hours,” he says. “This allowed us to not only avoid any major service disruptions, but also got us back up and running at 100% faster than expected.”
As a result, the company was able to leverage the uptick in maintenance requests that came on the heels of pandemic-related travel restrictions. “People and companies couldn’t fly their jets, so they decided to use the downtime to take care of any planned maintenance and refurbishment tasks,” notes Janßen. “Because we were running at full capacity, we could take on these requests when perhaps other MROs could not.”
In fact, things got so busy the company had to scramble to add to its maintenance team – no easy task considering the industry’s ongoing talent crunch. However, filling this pipeline was made at least a little easier thanks to the company’s apprenticeship programme. “We put great emphasis on training tomorrow’s aviation professionals today,” adds Janßen.
In cooperation with the Association of German Chambers of Industry and Commerce (DIHK), the company provides trainees with an internship in aircraft maintenance at its facilities. ACC currently has 16 trainees under its wing, half of whom are female. “This initiative increases our presence among young people who may not know what they want to do after finishing school,” notes Janßen.
Another post-pandemic challenge has to do with supply chain shortages. “As with every MRO, we are experiencing difficulties in getting parts and supplies,” says Janßen. “To mitigate this issue, we have highlighted the most frequently used parts and have either purchased them or stored them as part of consignment agreements with large parts suppliers.”
A Family Affair
Whether it be an AOG, a global pandemic, or a talent and parts shortage, ACC has a remarkable track record for turning challenges into opportunities. It’s secret? “We’re a family company,” says Janßen.
According to Janßen, being a small, family-focused business is one of ACC’s key differentiators. “We know the importance of building long-term relationships and how sometimes maintaining these relationships requires flexibility and adaptability,” he says.
And its these relationships and the company’s flexibility that have it well-positioned for a future of continued success.
Want to know more about ACC? Visit their profile here.