Abu Dhabi-headquartered Falcon Aviation has reported a 20% uplift in its third-party MRO business in 2016 and has set an ambitious target of a further 30% growth for 2017. This is the aim of Nicolas Tejera, the company’s Director of Maintenance. This Spaniard, 45 years old engineer is leading a full remoulding in the company’s Technical Department.”
Tejera, said the boost was due to a “significant restructuring” of Falcon’s MRO offering, a greater focus on sales and client relations. “It has resulted in our busiest year yet for third party business on the maintenance side,” he said. “We have competed on client satisfaction, on increasing the type and depth of our services. We have sent people for additional training and invested heavily in our planning department increasing the staff count three-fold over the past seven months.
“Our target for 2017 is ambitious but very realistic. Our constraint now is not with client requirements, but with space.”
Falcon’s space constraints are likely to end in 18 months’ time when its 15,000 square metre multi-purpose hangar being built at Al Maktoum International in Dubai opens for maintenance and parking of VIP jets. The hangar, which is 250% larger than its current Abu Dhabi facility and will have an adjoining wash bay and backshop.
Tejera said Falcon’s reputation as an approved Embraer service centre along with certification from Bombardier and Gulfstream, has stood it in great stead, particularly for the growing business jet market.
“We are co-operating closely with the manufacturers who realise that it’s not only about selling aircraft these days but also providing the service requirements and that’s where we come in because we can manage the warranties,” explained Tejera.
Falcon Aviation, which has its own corporate jet fleet of two Embraer Legacy 600s, a Gulfstream 450 and Embraer Lineage 1000 in addition to a substantial rotor-wing fleet, is now looking to forge strategic alliances with engine and component manufacturers and aircraft interiors specialist companies.
“We are finalising an agreement with an aircraft interior specialist in order to integrate in our capabilities refurbishment, repairs and modifications,” explained Tejera. “The whole proposition will be to reduce downtime for owners and operators.”
On the Falcon drawing board is the possibility of rolling Falcon Engineering out into a separate branding of the service.
“The idea would be for this to service the GCC market where there are various aircraft management companies and requiring that kind of services.” said Tejara.
Tejera said the company has been receiving a string of requests from the Saudi and Indian markets and is now pursuing approvals certification from the relevant authorities in both countries.
Falcon, which also has a fleet of six Dash Q400s is also hoping that its 2016 record of operating the turbo-props to 96% reliability will enable Falcon to escalate its capabilities in providing higher level of maintenance services for the twin engine series which hopefully will be realized in the near future.