Thursday, May 17, 2012

EBACE- SRT Focuses on Quality Rather Than Size

EBACE Convention News » May 16, 2012
May 15, 2012, 2:45 PM

Maintenance, repair and overhaul group SR Technics (SRT) is stepping up its push into the aircraft completions business, but is in no hurry to grab market share at any price. “We want to be the best and reliable rather than jumping for every dollar,” SRT president Andre Wall told AIN yesterday. “We’re so big…we want to make sure we’re not under pressure…[because] if the customer is not happy, they will never come back,” he added.

One major advantage of Swiss-based SRT (Stand 282) enjoys is that can carry out cabin refurbishments, including in-flight entertainment (IFE) upgrades, at the same time it completes heavy maintenance, reducing downtime for the client. Wall said this was the case with its second VIP aircraft contract, signed recently with an undisclosed Middle Eastern customer.

As the Middle East business grows, being part of Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala group has given SRT access to a new market, said Wall. Strong shareholder support enables the company to follow a philosophy of moving along slowly and steadily.

“We understand human beings toil under pressure to satisfy exacting customer requirements,” said Wall. “We stick to our philosophy of taking on only one aircraft at a time. We don’t have to rush.”

SRTs first project–a widebody Airbus aircraft–was completed in six months. “It was a challenging project, a must for us to succeed,” said Wall. SRT is clear that it has no interest in small aircraft completions.

At a time when the market is brimming with completion companies, what has made SRT get into an already crowded space? Wall indicated that SR Technics wouldn’t have entered the sector as a start-up company. “However, we have 300 engineers with us who made it easy for us to take the next step,” he said. SRT has a hangar in Zurich dedicated to its VIP project.

Behind every modification is a successful design. SRT brought veteran Eric Jan, who had 25 years of experience with Jet Aviation, to work on the modifications.

Asked about design trends they might recommend, Jan told AIN there are none in particular. “Customers have a clear understanding of what they want,” he commented. “One thing is common: they want to be unique and stand out with an interior that reflects their lifestyle. The only limitation is time and sometimes the budget.”

Quality is of the essence, Wall said. “We have a good sense of our customer needs. [To us] business is like a Swiss watch: it works like clockwork and has a high quality,” he commented. He also noted business prospects look rosy, and said the company is in talks with prospective customers from Russia, China, India, the Far East, South America and Eastern Europe.

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