Flexjet says focus on maintenance, support paying off

While rivals bought other operators, Flexjet was buying MROs. Co-CEO Andrew Collins says the vertical integration is working.

By Doug Gollan, December 19, 2023

Flexjet, Inc. Co-CEO Andrew Collins says the company’s focus on building its maintenance and operations capabilities and eschewing acquisitions of flight providers is helping it achieve record reliability despite growth.

According to Argus TraqPak, Flexjet had the largest increase in flight hours among fractional/charter operators through October.

In a podcast with Aviation Week Network, Collins told host Lee Ann Shay, “One of the busiest days in the history of the company was over Thanksgiving. On the same day, we had the highest level of dispatch availability we’ve ever had.”

Collins, who also serves as CEO of Sentient Jet, credited the company’s strategy of focusing on “back of the house.”

“Rather than buying flying companies and try to solve for temporary capacity issues that were happening, we doubled down thinking about the back of the house and how to make sure we were supporting our customers,” he said.

In 2023, MRO Constant Aviation, a separate unit of parent Directional Aviation, was merged into Flexjet, Inc.

It also purchased MRO Flying Colours.

Collins says over 1,000 of the company’s approximately 4,000 employees are now maintenance, completion, and supply chain specialists.

“It’s very important for us to be vertically integrated,” he told Shay.

“We are getting to a fleet of 300 aircraft, where using third-party MROs became challenging,” he said.

READ: Why private aviation’s supply chain and labor crisis isn’t going away

Having more capabilities in-house, he says, was critical to its differentiated Red Label cabin interiors that are part of the “Flexjet experience.”

Investing in Operations

Collins also pointed to the company’s newly opened $50 million operations center in Cleveland as facilitating efficiency between operations and maintenance.

He also noted the recent deal to work with Purdue University.

IT provides a pipeline of technicians trained in the state-of-the-art features of new private jets Flexjet is adding to its fleet.

Collins says of its success over the recent Thanksgiving holiday, “That wouldn’t have been possible without the way we have been thinking of product support, maintenance support, and having everyone in the combined building.”

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