As MRO companies look to navigate the new normal of supply chain disruptions and increasing demand for sustainable services, Jet Maintenance Solutions intends to lead the way.
Global supply chains are the backbone of a healthy economy. However, due to their complexity and global nature, these supply chains are particularly vulnerable to disruption. Even the smallest hiccup somewhere upstream will have a trickledown effect. And when an event like a global pandemic disrupts the entire chain, everyone feels the impact – including business aviation.
“Prior to the pandemic, many of our parts were flown in via scheduled flights,” says Vytis Zalimas, CEO at Jet Maintenance Solutions (JETMS). “But the pandemic quickly put an end to this option.”
As a base and line maintenance services company, JETMS needs parts, so their logistics team immediately began looking for alternatives. What they landed on was the use of a freight-only carrier. “Even though shipping costs rose due to limited capacity and record-high demand, partnering with an experienced provider allowed us to continue providing our customers with the reliable, high-quality services they’ve come to expect from JETMS,” adds Zalimas.
With lockdowns being lifted and commercial flights being scheduled, the supply chain continues to struggle. For instance, many cargo and logistics companies – including those that supply the likes of JETMS – are unable to recruit the personnel they need to keep up with demand. The result is reduced capacities and delayed delivery times.
“The privilege of being able to order and receive parts in 24 hours or less is now a thing of the past,” notes Zalimas.
Welcome to the New Normal
According to Zalimas, changes like these represent the new normal, and JETMS has no choice but to adapt. “Even with the constant risk of disruptions and delays, our focus has been to maintain operational effectiveness,” he adds. “By implementing flexible work schedules that align with when parts are actually delivered, we have been able to achieve this.”
Not only has JETMS achieved this goal – they’ve exceeded it. “This summer was our busiest season for aircraft maintenance yet, with a fully booked hangar and clients continuing to wait for a slot,” says Zalimas.
In addition to its maintenance services, JETMS also provides its clients with spare parts, avionics, jet engines, landing gear, auxiliary power units, logistics, aircraft conversions, aircraft painting, cabin refurbishment, modifications, and engine management solutions. And, thanks to the acquisition of the RAS Group, the company has added completions and interiors to their services list.
“If you want to be a global player in this competitive industry, mergers and acquisitions are simply a must,” explains Zalimas.
The Key to the Industry’s Future
Zalimas goes on to note that another key to staying competitive is sustainability. “Our industry is under immense pressure – both regulatory and from the public – to reduce our environmental impact,” he says. “Sustainability is no longer an option, it’s the key to our industry’s future.”
Although much of the attention tends to go to sustainable aviation jet fuel, Zalimas argues that the industry should also be talking about the sustainability potential of its robust MRO sector. “If done right, MRO can play an important role in building a circular economy,” he adds. “That’s why JETMS is looking outside boneyards to give old aircraft a new lease on life.”
On this note, the company is exploring new aircraft utilisation options. For example, it recently stripped a Bombardier CRJ200 of its valuable parts, leaving behind a fuselage that is destined for use as decoration in a yet-to-be-built office building and, potentially, as a teaching tool for MRO training. At the end of the day, nearly 100% of the aircraft is being re-used – representing one of the highest aircraft recycled percentages to date.
“As our customers and our customers’ customers demand more sustainable services, the MRO sector will continue to look for new ways to reduce its carbon footprint and increase its contribution to the circular economy,” concludes Zalimas. “This too is part of our new normal – and JETMS intends to lead the way.”
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