Are you curious about how Job Air Technic is planning to expand into high-value component repair? Discover the company’s path to success as we explore the CEO Vladimír Stulančák’s ambitious goals for the future in an exclusive interview. We discuss the competition in the market, the steps Job Air Technic is taking to remain competitive and innovative, and how they are balancing profitability with high-quality maintenance services. Get a behind-the-scenes look into the future of Job Air Technic (a member of the Czechoslovak Group), one of the leading maintenance companies in the European MRO sector.
As a leading maintenance company in the European MRO sector, what are Job Air Technic’s goals for the future, and how do you plan to achieve them?
I can divide our goals into two parts – the first step is to meet our company’s philosophy, which is one-stop solution. What does it mean? To provide our customers with as many products and services as feasible so that they can concentrate on their businesses. We are working on several tasks parallel like using AI, line maintenance services, build the training academy, expansion itself and others. It is definitely not easy for management to do it at the same time but I do not see any other option as the competition is strong and we can’t stay on one place. It would be very difficult to catch up later. However each new product or service needs to have clear benefits defined before. “Nice to have” but without profit is not our philosophy.
The second step entails the expansion in high-value component repair, such as engine maintenance. Personally, I see a great long-term future in it and a possibility to get our company even further in the MRO world. It is something where we will focus our strategy in coming years. How do we want to achieve that? We want to continue with organic and acquisition growth. As you are aware, we are a part of the powerful industrial holding Czechoslovak Group, which provides us with continuous assistance. At the moment we are looking for the right partner to join us with engine maintenance. You can do it by your own and be fully independent but that’s not our goal and takes much more time. It seems easy but it is the most important and difficult part of the strategy as the high component maintenance business is quite closed. It’s on one side understandable as the big players want to keep that business under control, on the other side it creates troubles for users.
How has the concentration of MRO companies in recent years affected competition in the market, particularly in high-value component repair, such as engine maintenance and overhaul? What steps is Job Air Technic taking to address these challenges and remain competitive in the market?
The concentration of MRO companies in the last two years did not really affect the competition in general. We can be happy that demand is still higher than supply, at least in narrow body airframe business. The main reason is the effort to get all the planes back into the air asap. We can expect this year to be very similar to last year however I see the market still very sensitive, as we could see with some airlines bankruptcies in Europe in the last few weeks. If we are talking about high value component repair like engine or landing gear, then it is something different. The concentration of MRO services in this business is not able to cover the market demand at the moment. What’s even worse, the present situation and troubles with qualified manpower, problems in supply chain etc. became the new norm, which is wrong for the market and end user but an opportunity for the company like us who can support it.
What are some of the negative impacts of the concentration of MRO companies, such as dictating prices and putting pressure on suppliers, on the high-value component repair sector, such as engine maintenance and overhaul? How does this affect innovation and the range of services available to customers in this sector?
As already mentioned, the high-value component repair sector is covered by a relatively small number of providers, which automatically raises questions about prices. The next factor is global politics and all the impacts we can see live at the moment. All this together makes pressure on the final customers, who often have no other options than to accept it. Who do you think will finally pay for it? People who want to travel. I do not think that this situation affects innovation or services. It’s probably the opposite, as the provider is also under pressure to supply requested services in a shorter time and better price. They are working hard on innovation to release the pressure from the customer and raise their efficiency parallel.
What steps is Job Air Technic taking to ensure that customers have access to a diverse range of services and to encourage innovation in the industry?
Our aim is to expand our capabilities either by internal sources or through third-party partnerships. Next is to ensure that the customer has access to those services. Last year we significantly increased our marketing communication and sales so that the customer knows what we can offer. You know, if you are not on their radar, you do not exist.
What steps is Job Air Technic taking to expand its capabilities in high-value component repair, such as engine maintenance and overhaul, and remain competitive in this sector? What challenges have you faced in trying to penetrate this market as a smaller, lesser-known company compared to larger firms?
First step is to have a good market analysis to see what our market is and what all the options are for how to jump in. Honestly, a year ago engine maintenance was something we did not focus on at all, as all the heavy engine maintenance was done by external parties all the time. Now we are deeper into the topic and we know what to do, but there are challenges we need to go through. One of them is the size of the company, so it is more difficult to penetrate this market. The OEM or “big players” do not really want to let us in to this “exclusive” business. Nevertheless, we never give up, and I’m sure we will be successful.
In your opinion, what regulatory changes or reforms could be implemented to promote more competition and innovation in the high-value component repair sector, such as engine maintenance and overhaul? How do you see these changes affecting the MRO industry as a whole?
That’s not an easy question. We have free market principles, so regulatory changes or reforms are not an option. The only option I see is the pressure from the final customers, in this case airlines. They have the power to ask the market or OEM to give them better service for good money in a reasonable time. We can be a help of course.
How do you see the MRO sector evolving in the coming years, particularly in high-value component repair, such as engine maintenance and overhaul? What role do you see Job Air Technic playing in that evolution?
As we can see, in every business there is a shift in development, whether hardware or software. The same is expected in the maintenance of components, the problem is that in aviation in particular it takes a certain time before it gets into practice. We can’t just take a component, improve it and install it back. The plane is a complex whole where you have to think about all the variables. If, for example, one of the new types of engines for the Airbus 320 comes, which will be much more powerful, have a significantly lower carbon footprint, less consumption, etc., it will take some years before it becomes a reality.
What do you see as the biggest challenge facing the MRO sector right now, especially in regards to high-value component repairs such as engine maintenance and overhaul? How can the industry as a whole address this challenge?
The biggest challenge facing the MRO sector right now is definitely the availability of qualified and skilled labor, as well as the material supply chain. This is a problem that has been exacerbated by the pandemic, leading to delays in delivery and associated scheduling issues. The only way to address this challenge is through greater globalization, an open labor market, and, most importantly, investing in people, which is essential to the success of any company.
What steps is Job Air Technic taking to ensure sustainable growth and development in the long term, while also guaranteeing high standards for aircraft maintenance and safety in all areas of the MRO sector, including high-value component repair such as engine maintenance and overhaul?
Sustainability is a key focus for us at Job Air Technic. We regularly monitor the market and analyse the signals, and then use a PDCA (Plan-Do-Check-Act) cycle to ensure that our growth and development is sustainable.
How do you balance the need for profitability with the need to provide high-quality maintenance services to your customers, particularly in high-value component repair, such as engine maintenance and overhaul? What steps is Job Air Technic taking to ensure that customer satisfaction and safety are not compromised in the pursuit of profits?
At Job Air Technic, we believe that profitability and quality must go hand in hand. If we are not profitable, we cannot invest in development and our quality will gradually decrease. We also must invest in quality people, which requires us to be profitable. We are aware of the wide salary disparity in aviation across Europe, and recognize that this is an issue that needs to be addressed.
In conclusion: Job Air Technic is committed to expanding their capabilities in high-value component repair in order to remain competitive in the market. CEO Vladimír Stulančák emphasized the need for balancing profitability with high-quality maintenance services to ensure customer satisfaction and safety. He also pointed out the importance of global collaboration and innovation in the MRO sector in order to remain competitive. To achieve success in the high-value component repair sector, Job Air Technic is investing in their people and continuously expanding their capabilities. With their commitment to excellence and dedication to providing the best services to their customers, Job Air Technic is on their way to becoming a leader in the MRO sector.
Interviewed and edited: Katerina Urbanova, EIC @ ACE
Photo Credit: JOB AIR Technic