JSSI Appoints Alexis Javkin EVP, Maintenance/Supplier Management

Jet Support Services, Inc. (JSSI), provider of maintenance support and financial tools to the business aviation industry, has announced the appointment of Alexis Javkin as executive vice president, Maintenance & Supplier Management. In this role, Javkin will be responsible for JSSI’s global technical support organization, providing proactive event management, customer advocacy, and strengthening JSSI’s relationships with MRO’s and service providers across the industry.

Javkin joins JSSI from Aerolíneas Ejecutivas (ALE), the largest fractional and charter fleet, management company, MRO, and aircraft sales organization in Mexico and Latin America. In his most recent role, Javkin had dual roles as CEO of ALE Service Center, a multi-OEM authorized MRO with engine, APU, and airframe capabilities, and group vice president with operational, financial, and commercial responsibilities for ALE’s fractional, jet card, and charter business. 

“JSSI has had the pleasure of working with Alexis for years. I’ve seen up close his superior leadership and management skills, which will make him a great addition to our or any organization,” said Neil Book, chairman and CEO. “I continue to be impressed by his business and financial acumen, his ability to work with suppliers and partners, and his commitment to delivering a world-class customer experience.”

Prior to ALE, Javkin worked at Unilever holding a variety of key roles. He is an industrial engineer by trade, earning his undergraduate degree from Tecnologico de Monterrey, followed by an MBA from IPADE business school.

“For the past 10 years I’ve had the opportunity to work closely with JSSI as a maintenance program customer. I’m excited to join an organization that truly cares about delivering top-quality service, as I was fortunate to experience firsthand,” said Javkin. “I’m excited to join this impressive team of maintenance professionals, who continue to evolve and grow to best serve both their customers and the broader industry.”

FTI Consulting Enhances Aviation Capabilities with Two Senior Commercial and Fleet Strategy Experts

FTI Consulting announced the continued expansion of its global aviation practice with the appointments of Stephen Strange as a senior managing director andas a managing director.

“The aviation industry faces a challenging regulatory environment while confronting supply chain constraints, workforce shortages and sustainability objectives,” said Martin Kuehne, newly appointed leader of the business transformation offering within the global Aviation practice, which he co-leads with Marc Bilbao, and co-leader of the human capital practice at FTI Consulting. “Steve and David bring a level of expertise in strategy and business planning that complements our existing capabilities, allowing us to provide a full suite of services to our aviation clients through each step of their business cycle.”

Strange, who is based in San Francisco, has more than two decades of experience in the aviation industry, focusing on commercial strategy, fleet planning, aircraft acquisition, operations, turnarounds and transformation. In his role at FTI Consulting, Strange will help clients with commercial strategy and growth plans, while continuing to advise airlines on new aircraft acquisitions.

Commenting on his appointment, Strange said, “The aviation industry is continually facing new pressures. My goal has always been to help clients navigate these complex situations and make prudent decisions. I look forward to working alongside my colleagues at FTI Consulting as we provide airline leadership teams with strategic guidance related to their growth, fleet, supply and technology challenges, and help incorporate sustainability mindsets into their businesses.”

Strange joins FTI Consulting from Accenture, following that firm’s acquisition of Seabury Consulting, where he served as a managing director. Prior to that, he spent six years in supply chain and customer finance roles at Boeing.

Walfisch, who is based in New York, is a commercial and fleet strategy expert with more than 16 years of experience in the airline industry. At FTI Consulting, he will support clients through business planning, fleet acquisition campaigns and cost reduction efforts. Walfisch has extensive experience in aviation industry sustainability and will continue to help clients work toward sustainability goals while focusing on broader strategic objectives. Prior to joining FTI Consulting, Walfisch was a Principal Director at Accenture, joining the firm as part of the acquisition of Seabury Consulting.

The arrival of Strange and Walfisch boost FTI Consulting’s investment in its global Aviation practice, following the appointment of senior managing director Frank Martin earlier this year. Experts within the practice provide clients with in-depth functional capabilities in human capital, commercial, network, ground operations, capital raise, airline-related business entities and aerospace.

“Over the last several years, FTI Consulting has made significant investments in aviation industry talent, building a robust holistic offering to transform and improve aviation performance,” said Michael Eisenband, global co-leader of the corporate finance & restructuring segment at FTI Consulting. “As businesses navigate the evolving landscape and ever-changing demands, these appointments underscore the firm’s commitment to further enhancing our capabilities in commercial strategy, fleet planning and sustainability within aviation and align seamlessly with our mission of delivering comprehensive solutions that drive sustainable growth and operational excellence for our clients.”

flydocs Appoints Smith as CCO 

flydocs has appointed Andy Smith as its chief commercial officer and a member of the flydocs leadership team. Smith, an international sales and marketing professional, joins flydocs with more than 27 years of strong business development, leadership, and customer-centric experience.

Smith’s career spans across his leadership roles with global responsibilities includes creating and implementing customer engagement and revenue-generating strategies, displaying leadership acumen in complex solution sales, pipeline management, new business development, and marketing strategies. In the role of CCO, Smith will lead flydocs’ commercial and marketing team, focusing on devising the business growth strategy, orchestrating resources to support customer needs and requirements, and identifying growth opportunities for the business, the company says. He will work with the flydocs’ leadership team to establish its position as a preferred partner in aviation digital asset management.

“We are delighted to welcome Andy toflydocs and our leadership team. His rich experience in strategic leadership and sales & marketing will be instrumental for us in executing our organizational plans, forging stronger partnerships with our customers, and driving growth at flydocs,” said André Fischer, CEO flydocs. “As we navigate through the future and advance our strategic roadmap, with Andy’s widespread vision for growth we look forward to taking flydocs to new heights.”

Smith, added “I am truly excited to join flydocs as it continues to evolve on its journey ofgrowth and transformation. With my extensive global expertise in providing strategic and tactical direction to commercial departments across organizations, I look forward to shaping the next phase of our journey, delivering superior results for customers, and generating value for our stakeholders.”

Smith holds a bachelor’s degree in technical communication.

Vallair Appoints Fermaut to BD Manager –Aerostructures and Engines

Vallair announced that François Fermaut has assumed the role of sales and business development manager for the aerostructures and engines divisions based in Châteauroux, France. Fermaut will be responsible for expanding awareness of Vallair’s expert repair capabilities with a team that has grown from two technicians to a skilled workforce of 125 in the past eight years.

Fermaut joined Vallair in 2016, just as the organization gained approval for its aerostructure component repair facility and he has overseen its transition from a solely internal service to one that now provides more than 90% of its repair capabilities to external customers – airlines, parts traders and lessors alike.  The shop also broadened its scope to include A330 widebody components alongside its proven expertise with the A320 family.

“It has taken time to build from zero into a highly competitive repair shop” explains Fermaut. “This makes me very proud as I take on the challenging new role which encompasses our new engines shop.  I have been in the aviation sector for more than 25 years and it is rewarding to see more and more opportunities as customers begin to recognize the cost advantages offered by Vallair’s total repair capability, aligned with AFRA accredited disassembly options all in one place.”

Fermaut goes on to say that one of the main strengths of the Vallair facility is the team’s extensive parts knowledge which enables the business to closely match the market value for repairs of specific parts. “Our aim is to work in partnership with customers to find the best economical solutions for their aircraft and engine assets.  It helps that we have access to technical specialists who determine whether it is best to repair or dismantle a component.”

Vallair recently opened its engine shop offering a range of MRO services for CFM56 – 5A and -5B and V2500 series engines. Services include the disassembly and reassembly of modules; minor repairs & inspections; borescope inspections; preservation; leasing of engines, APUs and engine bays.  Borescope capability will soon include Trent 700, PW 4000, CF6-80, Leap, and PW1100 engines.

“From parts distribution, to dismantling, through to materials recycling, Vallair is continuously working on new strategies for the management of end-of-life aircraft” continues Fermaut. “However, it remains a challenge to secure the parts and manpower that we need. As requests for our services continue to increase, we are stepping up our aircraft engineer training programs in partnership with Aircraft Academy, part of the Vallair Group. We are also working closely with local schools and colleges to develop courses for skills and qualifications – this is vital to the central region of France, and also to Vallair.”

Fermaut’s previous experience includes senior roles at SA Composité Industrie, director of MRO operations at RUAG Aerospace (Suisse), and manager at Latécoère Aéroservice responsible for aerostructure composites and painting. 

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics Mourns the Loss of Former President and CEO John W. Winter

Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics announced the passing of John W. Winter, former President and CEO, on May 27, 2024, in Wichita, Kansas. Winter was a well-known member of the aviation community whose ingenuity and entrepreneurial spirit helped shape the industry, the company says.

“My father mastered a unique trio of skills, being an exceptionally good mechanical engineer, electrical engineer and astute businessman,” said his son, current Mid-Continent Instruments and Avionics president and CEO, Todd Winter. “He set the bar high for himself and all to follow; supporting the pursuit of education as a means to achieve success. He taught us all not to shy away from obstacles or challenges, to be action oriented, and focus on achieving results. When I became president of the company, he handed me a commemorative plate with a picture of President Harry Truman, and one of his favorite quotes: The buck stops here!”

Winter’s passion for aviation began early, serving his country in the U.S. Navy as an electronics officer aboard the USS Leyte aircraft carrier during the last days of the Korean War. Throughout that time, Winter dedicated himself to upgrading and improving air search radar systems. As a result, he was nominated as a candidate for the Rhodes Scholarship by his commanding officer. LTJG Winter left active duty in 1955 and continued to be a member of the U.S. Navy Reserve until 1967, at which time he was honorably discharged.

Following active duty, Winter earned a master’s degree in electrical engineering from Yale University. He began working at Aircraft Radio Corporation in 1958 and later transitioned to the role of Chief Engineer and then President at Aviation Instrument Manufacturing Corporation (AIM) in 1961. It was there that he became a pioneer in the field of flight instruments and aviation gyros, developing one of the first general aviation autopilot systems. He served in similar roles at Narco Avionics and Aerosonic, after leaving AIM in 1975.

“My grandfather was ahead of his time,” said Van Winter. “His master’s thesis at Yale was the investigation and design of flush-mounted radio antennas. This interest stemmed from his naval experience when the ship’s operational readiness was compromised by damaged, protruding antennas on the World War II era aircraft,” he continued. “Ultimately, flush-mounted antennas became critical to the design of modern stealth aircraft.”

In 1980, Winter purchased Mid-Continent Instrument Company in Wichita, Kansas. During the next two decades, he and his son, Todd Winter, grew the organization and its commitment to serving aviators around the globe, adding new manufacturing capabilities and establishing a second location in California. Today, Mid-Continent operates a large, full-service instrument repair station.

John Winter was a long-time, highly regarded member of the Aircraft Electronics Association (AEA), serving on the board of directors from 1988 to 2000 and elected treasurer from 1994 to 2000. In recognition of his dedication to the industry he loved, he was named AEA’s Member of the Year in 1995 and received AEA’s prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award in 2006, two honors that he was deeply proud to receive. 

Aviation was hiss passion and his legacy and commitment to quality, integrity and innovation live on through his family, the company, its employees and his many friends and colleagues within the industry, a company statement said.

Kim Ernzen Joins StandardAero as Chief Operating Officer

StandardAero has appointed Kim Ernzen to serve as chief operating officer. In this role, she reports directly to Russell Ford, StandardAero chairman and CEO and is responsible for global operational performance, efficiency and excellence, as well as engineering and supply chain management for StandardAero. In addition, StandardAero’s Engine Services and Component Repair Services division Presidents will report directly to Ernzen, who will maintain close oversight of the company’s overall business performance. She replaces Kerry O’Sullivan, who is retiring from StandardAero, and will be located at the company’s Scottsdale, Arizona headquarters office.  

Prior to joining StandardAero, Ernzen served as president of Naval Power for Raytheon Technologies overseeing a $6 billion division with programs supporting the U.S. Military and its global allies along with a full range of Raytheon’s offerings, while managing a complex portfolio across all life cycle phases.  She is a seasoned aerospace and defense industry executive with more than 25 years of experience working at Cessna, Hawker Beechcraft and Raytheon/RTX Corporation.  

An aerospace engineer by training, she spent the early part of her career in general aviation with a core focus in manufacturing operations, as well as aftermarket and technical support. Later in her career, Ernzen served in increasingly responsible executive roles in both operations and general management serving military, defense and space markets.  

Ernzen holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Aerospace Engineering, a Master of Science degree in Aeronautical Engineering and an MBA degree – all from Wichita State University. In addition, she completed Raytheon’s Executive Leadership, Engineering Leadership Development and Principles of Leadership programs and is a recipient of the Raytheon CEO award.

“Kim’s demonstrated business success, broad technical, program management and executive leadership experience – along with her knowledge and depth in the aerospace industry – gives her the experience to have significant impact in her role at StandardAero,” said Ford. “We are pleased and fortunate to bring her onto our team and I look forward to her contributions driving continued operational and business improvements as well as growth for StandardAero.”

Mike Audus Named DVP & Business Unit Manager AMETEK MRO, Europe

 AMETEK MRO has named Mike Audus as its new DVP & business unit manager – MRO Europe.  In this new role, Audus will be responsible for driving customer satisfaction and growth, leading AMETEK MRO’s multiple businesses across Europe including: Muirhead Avionics, AEM, AvTech and Antavia.

With a career to date focused on avionics, power management systems and engine MRO, Audus has significant experience of working closely with airlines, military organizations, and across the OEM/prime manufacturer sector.

He joins AMETEK MRO as the organization reinforces its footprint in Europe. A new facility for Muirhead Avionics incorporating AvTech’s capabilities opened near LHR last year, and additional battery and wheels & brakes repair shops have recently on stream for Antavia near CDG in Paris.

Audus says that the fast-paced growth of the business, and the opportunity to get back to aircraft component MRO support after his lengthy stint with the OEMs, were the catalysts for the move. “I am keen to take responsibility for the performance of the business and bring commercial and operational skills to the table – the potential is far-reaching across the aviation industry” he explains.

“AMETEK MRO businesses in Europe have a proud heritage and strong business ethos anchored by their niche technical expertise and a reputation for excellent performance. Airlines, parts broker customers, and specifically our OEM partners entrust their MRO services to AMETEK MRO due to the services provided by our highly trained technicians and quality of work they deliver.  We are underpinned by solid partnerships throughout the supply chain which firmly support the needs of customers.

“I have worked in operations across many countries and cultures and would describe myself as an absolute Lean zealot. Removal of waste and creating value are key for me, coupled with nurturing and sustaining a culture at AMETEK MRO that everyone wants to be a part of.”

AMETEK MRO companies in Europe:  AEM, ANTAVIA, AVTECH and MUIRHEAD AVIONICS, anticipate that the next five years will be busy as the aviation sector continues to grow quickly and mature aircraft assets remain in demand as new aircraft deliveries suffer from continued supply-chain induced delays.

Audus is conscious that this growth will lead to new challenges for the OEMs and repair vendors across the region. He says, “AMETEK MRO has six main product areas: actuation, thermal management, landing gear and brakes, avionics, safety equipment and power generation. We publish monthly stock forecasts for some of our suppliers, thereby managing our customers’ expectations in terms of repair schedules and unit deliveries – and this helps them to plan efficiently.

“Innovation, and harnessing change to bring new customer benefits that maximize uptime and reduce maintenance costs, are always key components of our business strategy” summarizes Audus. “AMETEK MRO is always looking to invest, partner and establish capability that supports airlines and operators in both commercial and military sectors.”

Happy Charles Taylor Day!

Charles Taylor, who was the Wright Brothers’ mechanic and is considered the father of aviation maintenance, was born on May 24th. AMT Day is celebrated each year in the aviation maintenance industry and honors Charles Taylor on the date of his birth. Like Taylor, aircraft mechanics are truly the unsung heroes of the aviation industry. Congress passed a resolution supporting the goals and ideals of National AMT Day in 2008. After several years of continuous effort, Senate Resolution #SRES335 passed in December 2016, joining Congressional Resolution #RES#444, recognizing May 24 as AMT Day, and the day is now observed in many states in the U.S. Here’s to all the people who work selflessly to ensure the safety of our air transportation system.

Patrick de Castelbajac named Chief Strategy Officer for GE Aerospace

GE Aerospace announced Patrick de Castelbajac will join the company as chief strategy officer, effective June 24, 2024, reporting to GE Aerospace chairman and CEO, H. Lawrence Culp Jr.  

De Castelbajac will lead the company’s enterprise strategic planning, working in partnership with GE Aerospace’s business and functional teams to support long-term growth by optimizing capital deployment with strategic investments across the company.

“Patrick is well regarded as one of the aerospace industry’s leading strategic operators,” said H. Lawrence Culp, Jr., GE Aerospace chairman and CEO “With his deep experience in enterprise-wide planning and execution, he will shape our investment in technology to enable the future of flight, and unlock new opportunities to drive focused, disciplined growth.”

De Castelbajac previously served in several executive positions at Airbus, including as Executive Vice President of Strategy & International, where he led the launch of the company’s zero-emission/hydrogen initiative and steered the acquisition of Bombardier CSeries (rebranded A220 Program), and additionally as President, Asia-Pacific. He also served as CEO of ATR Aircraft, the Airbus-Leonardo turboprop joint venture. More recently, he was CEO of Nordic Aviation Capital, where he successfully navigated the COVID-19 pandemic through contract and debt restructuring.

“I’m both thrilled and honored to join GE Aerospace at this pivotal moment in its great history and am looking forward to working with the teams to unleash their full potential, developing actionable strategies and supporting the sustainable growth of our industry,” said de Castelbajac.

AJW Group Announces Promotion of Louis Philippe Mallette to President of AJW Technique

AJW Group announced the promotion of Louis Philippe Mallette to the position of president of AJW Technique, AJW Group’s world-class Maintenance Repair and Overhaul (MRO) facility located in Montreal, Canada. 

Bringing more than 25 years of international operational and strategic expertise in the aviation industry to his new role, Mallette has cultivated a distinguished career, which includes his role as MRO workgroup president of Aéro Montréal supporting Quebec’s aerospace cluster, in their mission to increase cohesion, optimize the competitiveness and driving sustainable growth in the region. 

Prior to joining AJW Technique, Mallette spent 23 years at Bombardier, where he rose to the role of general manager. Since joining AJW Technique as senior vice president in September 2021, Mallette has adeptly steered the facility through its post-pandemic resurgence.

As president of AJW Technique, Mallette assumes responsibility for all facets of the facility’s operations to optimize operational efficiencies with an ongoing mandate to propel strategic growth initiatives and nurture a culture of innovation and excellence. Mallette will continue to report to and collaborate closely with AJW Group’s CEO of AJW Aviation and AJW Technique, Clyde Buntrock FCILT.

“We are delighted to announce Louis’s promotion to President of AJW Technique,” Buntrock said. “His extensive experience and leadership qualities make him the perfect fit to lead our world-class MRO facility to even greater heights.”

In response to his appointment, Mallette said: “I am honoured and excited to take on this new role at AJW Technique. I look forward to working closely with the team to drive innovation, operational excellence, and growth in the aviation industry,”