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AJW Group attracts top industry talent and steps up its culture of service innovation
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AJW Group attracts top industry talent and steps up its culture of service innovation

AJW Group is capturing a new spirit in aviation says President, Christopher Whiteside, as the organisation continues to focus on the development of support services that transform aviation efficiency for operators and lower CASM (Cost per Available Seat Mile). These include: inventory ownership cost reduction, streamlined supply chain, component reliability and customisable solutions.

"Our business model has evolved in recent years as more and more airlines have entrusted the dispatch reliability of their aircraft to AJW through the adoption of power-by-the-hour and repair-by-the-hour services. Currently we have over 1,300 aircraft under contract worldwide with operators large and small, and this represents a significant shift in the dynamics of the Company."

AJW"™s comprehensive inventory of Airbus and Boeing spares is currently worth over USD $500m and is located in strategic hubs worldwide, this has underpinned the move into contracted services. "Our customer"™ business imperatives have changed. They no longer want to manage their own repair shops or hold spares in stock "˜just in case"™ "“ that ties up capital and becomes a drain on resources. Their focus is in running a successful and profitable airline "“ and increasingly our role is to enable them to deliver an exceptional brand experience for their passenger" he adds.

"Of course the provision of aircraft spares support in all its guises, alongside our renowned 24/7/365 AOG, will always have its place, but we"™re seeing a paradigm shift in the marketplace as forward looking airlines recognise the need for innovation within their support options. In essence, they want a great deal more. We have pro-actively re-structured throughout the Group, creatively combining our component provision with repair services that reduce direct maintenance costs, streamline supply chain efficiency and reduce costs. We have also built up an extensive aircraft engines portfolio and bolstered that with inventive leasing and finance options. Airlines view AJW as a trusted and valued business partner, not just a supplier, and that is shaping a whole new range of services and support mechanisms, many of which are totally bespoke to individual airline needs. Flexibility and innovation are crucial and it"™s what we are very good at."

New management team

In tandem with an evolution in support services, AJW has been focused on building a team of highly experienced individuals to join the organisation divulges Whiteside. AJW is a unique brand and it has taken time to find people with the right vision and drive to steer all of the business initiatives in harmony. "Technical excellence is not enough. Our people need to have entrepreneurial flair combined with commercial acuity. It"™s what our airline customers expect. Not only do they want solutions to their problems fast, they also want to work with people who can see the bigger picture and devise strategies accordingly. That takes experience and a certain mind-set, so I"™m extremely pleased to welcome Daniel Watson (Chief Commercial Officer) previously with MTU, Thomas van der Wiel (Chief Financial Officer), David Lewis (Chief Technical Officer) who joins us from flyDubai, Ian Smith (Key Account Director) formerly ZTech Director at Flybe, and Guy van den Berg (Director of Strategic Operations) to our energetic and highly motivated team."

A focus on ever better dispatch reliability for US-centric operators

Is Dallas the ideal central US stocking location for spare parts? AJW Group thinks so as it signs a new warehousing agreement with ATS/TAC to store parts in the Dallas facility. "We have been considering this move for some time" explains Boris Wolstenholme, CEO – AJW Aviation, at the MRO Americas event in Dallas. "It"™s all about listening to our customer"™ and combining their needs with our own growth objectives. AJW"™s customisable solutions allow scope and flexibility to support customer driven organic growth so we have worked with Southern Air to create the most efficient place to locate stock for them, and also enhances our AOG capabilities in North America. Now we can fully back up Southern Air"™s contract for DHL, and their route expansion West."

This is further evidence of AJW"™s policy to ring the globe with strategic hubs of commercial Airbus and Boeing spares in support of specific power-by-the-hour contracts.

AJW Technique targets Boeing 737MAX

AJW currently supports 69% of global fleet operators with appropriate Airbus and Boeing aircraft types and this is fully underpinned by AJW Technique, the organisation"™s component repair and overhaul facility in Montreal. "˜We"™re focused on streamlining processes to minimise turn-times and further guarantee dispatch reliability across the America" continues Wolstenholme. "In lieu of the volume of Boeing 737MAX orders both in Canada and in the US we"™re increasing our 737 component repair capabilities in line with the advertised commonality between MAX and NG aircraft types."

Although a cornerstone repair provider to the Group, AJW Technique has significantly increased its independent customer base. "The realisation that we can provide cost-effective, high quality component repair services has hit home, especially amongst the North American operators who have the highest standards and expectations for service and component reliability. The strategic partnerships that we have forged with the major OEMs put us on a par with the top tier aftermarket repair providers."

Fan-tastic exchange programme and technical support from AJW Engines

Aside from locating spare component inventory in carefully considered geographical hot spots worldwide to support contracted customers and ad hoc requirements, AJW is also expanding global access to its fan blade exchange programme. "Customers are coming to us from all corner" says Wolstenholme. "Airlines in Europe and Asia quickly locked onto our programmes but I"™m very pleased to include South America"™s Viva Columbia as a new and repeat customer." AJW Engines offers pre-identified sets of CFM56-3/5A/5B/7B, V2500A5 and PW4000 fan blades and matched pairs for exchange as required by operators. This service reduces stocking costs and ensures airlines have replacement fan blades on site immediately.

As AJW Group prepares itself for new challenges and responds to customer"™ demands for better ways to align their costs and boost efficiency Christopher Whiteside, President, is making sure that the organisation sustains its reputation for revolution, not just evolution. "We"™re entering a new era in aviation support and there will be a lot of changes ahead. It"™s important to deliver solid and reliable services, quality is paramount and our customers expect that. But they want more. We"™re entering our 84th year and Boeing is celebrating its 100th. There"™s a lot of experience and knowledge out there to underpin new ideas but we"™ve never been stuck in the past or hampered by corporate red tape. If it"™s a good idea we do it with passion and commitment. It"™s as simple as that."

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