Although Jet Support Service Inc (JSSI) is best known for its hourly cost membership programs that cover airframes and engines, it is only one side of the business. To find out more, Asian Sky Media spoke with Mark Winzar, the company’s senior vice president for business development in EMEA and Asia to find out what more the company offers, and how the company currently views the market.
JSSI is mostly known for hourly cost maintenance, but what other services does it provide?
Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), is the leading independent provider of maintenance support and financial services to the business aviation industry. JSSI hourly cost maintenance programs (HCMPs)—available for engines, APUs and airframes— give customers comprehensive, flexible and affordable tools for managing the unpredictable costs of operating and maintaining aircraft. In addition, JSSI leverages this technical knowledge, experience, buying power and data to provide support at every stage of the aircraft life cycle; from aircraft acquisition to aircraft teardown and part out. Services include:
• Ownership consulting services
• Asset evaluation
• Operating cost analysis
• Aviation tax expertise
• Technical support
• Maintenance event management
• Asset appraisals and inspections
• Rental engine supply
• Asset leasing
• Parts procurement and supply chain solutions
• MRO management software
On the aircraft acquisition side, are you able to help with financing?
Yes, JSSI will look at options that may include financing or leasing assets depending on the individual requirements of the client.
Does that include new and pre-owned aircraft?
At JSSI, we are able to look at either option. The vast majority of financing or leasing deals we have been involved in relate to pre-owned aircraft but much depends on the specific requirements of potential owners. We are always flexible.
Was the appraisal side of the business created to assist with the acquisitions side?
There were many reasons to offer appraisal services at JSSI. By its very nature, offering appraisals fits into the acquisition process but we also do many appraisals for existing lenders and lessors as part of their asset management requirements.
Did you see many new enquiries from people new to business aviation in the last year?
Yes, we are seeing an increase in new users to business aviation; from jet cards and fractional ownership to charter operations and new aircraft owners, it’s a trend that is consistent across the industry. Our mission is to continue to support these new users and ensure all customers have the financial and digital tools they need to fully realize the far-reaching benefits of business aviation for the long term. The full suite of services that JSSI offers helps educate all, from novices to industry veterans, to ensure they know which aircraft to choose, are fully aware of what ownership entails, and have access to resources to manage their asset effectively and efficiently.
Have you seen an increase in activity so far in 2021?
Yes, we are seeing clear signs of an increase in activity. In our latest Business Aviation Index for Q1 2021, average flight hours are up 10% quarter-over-quarter, and up 0.5% year-over-year compared with average flight hours for Q1 2020, when the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic was first starting to be felt.
That said, there are regional variations. For example, North America is bouncing back very quickly with flight hours up 5.2% YoY, whereas Europe is taking more time due to a resurgence in Covid-19 case numbers and lockdowns, so YoY flight activity is down -14.6%. International travel restrictions are making the recovery a bit bumpier in certain regions but overall, we believe the recovery has started.
There is also a parts and leasing side of JSSI, did you see many aircraft get permanently withdrawn from service last year?
This trend is not as common as you may imagine. There was a view in the early part of the pandemic that permanent withdrawal and distress sales of aircraft would increase significantly but I don’t think that has happened. Of course, some aircraft have ceased operation, but overall business aviation has been far less severely hit than the regional and commercial sectors.
JSSI in a fairly unique position to monitor flight activity. When do you think it will be back to pre-pandemic levels?
As mentioned, US flight activity has bounced back to pre-Covid levels, with a particular surge in charter usage but the recovery is at a slower pace in other parts of the world. While the day-to-day restrictions in countries such as the UK, China and Australia are easing, international travel is still either prohibited, restricted or entails long isolation periods and multiple Covid-19 tests. As a result, I believe we won’t see pre-pandemic levels of business jet utilization returning universally this year, although as the year progresses, we will see an overall upturn.
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