Jo­ramco’s CEO shares in­sights on the com­pany’s ‘trans­for­ma­tion’ since DAE se­cured a ma­jor­ity stake in the MRO firm

Aviation Business - - CONTENTS - By Alexan­der Sopho­clis Pieri


Fol­low­ing Dubai Aero­space En­ter­prise’s (DAE) ma­jor­ity stake ac­qui­si­tion (80%) in Jo­ramco back in 2016, the Jor­da­nian MRO spe­cial­ist has been in a state of trans­for­ma­tion. In ad­di­tion to an ex­ten­sive re­brand­ing ex­er­cise and the adop­tion of a new cor­po­rate iden­tity, the com­pany has made great strides to­wards im­prov­ing its core ser­vice.

Thanks to the con­tin­u­ous sup­port from DAE, Jo­ramco has not only re­fur­bished its ex­ist­ing fa­cil­i­ties but has also ex­panded with new in­fras­truc­ture and the ad­di­tion of new tool­ing equip­ment.

Cou­pled with the com­pany’s ge­o­graph­i­cal ad­van­tage of be­ing at the mid­point be­tween Europe and the Mid­dle East, the re­cent im­prove­ments played a vi­tal fac­tor in Jo­ramco’s per­for­mance over the past cou­ple of years. While con­tin­u­ing to draw busi­ness from across the Gulf and In­dia, the MRO spe­cial­ist has also gar­nered sig­nif­i­cant busi­ness from the Euro­pean mar­ket as of late.

“There is a huge lever­age based around the ge­o­graph­i­cal lo­ca­tion. It is just a fact that we are three hours from Europe, three hours from the Mid­dle East. Per­fect for cap­tur­ing the Euro­pean mar­ket and main­tain­ing what we al­ready have in the Gulf,” com­ments Jeff Wilkin­son, CEO of Jo­ramco.

The CEO went on to ex­plain that a num­ber of Euro­pean car­ri­ers have be­gun to search for more cost-ef­fi­cient al­ter­na­tives for their main­te­nance, over what is avail­able in their home mar­ket.

The fact that Jo­ramco has at the same time fo­cused on de­vel­op­ing its cabin shop ca­pa­bil­i­ties, has left the com­pany in a po­si­tion to cap­i­talise on the op­por­tu­nity.

“One thing as the Euro­pean cus­tomers have come into play is that they are quite spe­cific with their cabin spec­i­fi­ca­tions and what they ex­pect. So we fo­cused on in­fras­truc­ture im­prove­ments around ad­di­tional equip­ment to en­sure the cabin ca­pa­bil­i­ties are there; new leather ma­chines, car­pet cut­ting ma­chines, and struc­tural com­po­nents, etc,” com­ments Wilkin­son.

As a re­sult of re­cent im­prove­ments, Jo­ramco has ex­pe­ri­enced a 30% in­crease in year-on-year rev­enues over 2018, as well as a dou­bling of its net prof­its. Ser­vic­ing roughly 160 heavy in­puts in this year alone, the MRO firm re­port­edly had at one point seven na­tional flight car­ri­ers present in their fa­cil­i­ties.

An­other key area that Jo­ramco has been fo­cused on is adding new ca­pa­bil­i­ties to ser­vice dif­fer­ent air­craft vari­ants. One of its re­cent ad­di­tions is geared to­wards the Boe­ing 787 air­craft, an air­craft that is widely used in the Mid­dle East re­gion, as well as by Royal Jor­da­nian, which holds a 20% stake in Jo­ramco.

The com­pany also se­cured Euro­pean Avi­a­tion Safety Agency (EASA) ap­proval for the Boe­ing 737 MAX. Cur­rently, the firm is mov­ing to se­cure ap­proval for the Air­bus A320­neo, as well as the Boe­ing 777.

“A320­neo is next. The A320­neo is a huge air­craft mar­ket as a lot of the car­ri­ers in this re­gion are now mov­ing to­wards the Neo … Boe­ing 777 — we will prob­a­bly achieve ap­proval around Jan­uary of next year,” com­ments Wilkin­son

“To get the cer­ti­fi­ca­tion, it is a long process … you have to first ac­quire the spe­cific tool­ing for the air­craft, but then comes the train­ing of the staff. The team has to be trained on the new tech­nol­ogy, which is typ­i­cally a 12 to 16-week course.”

The CEO shares that in the case of the Boe­ing 787, Jo­ramco worked closely with Eti­had Tech­ni­cal Train­ing to bring its teams up to speed on the air­craft’s main­te­nance re­quire­ments.

Such part­ner­ships have been in­stru­men­tal for Jo­ramco in ad­dress­ing both the pro­fes­sional de­vel­op­ment of their ex­ist­ing staff, as well as the ac­qui­si­tion of fresh tal­ent. In the case of the lat­ter, the com­pany main­tains a long-stand­ing col­lab­o­ra­tion with Air Ser­vice Train­ing (AST), an avi­a­tion train­ing or­gan­i­sa­tion based in Perth, Scot­land.

The two par­ties work closely to­gether to op­er­ate the Jo­ramco Academy, an in­de­pen­dent school for air­craft main­te­nance en­gi­neer­ing train­ing. Launched back in 2007, the EASA Part 147 ac­cred­ited in­sti­tu­tion de­liv­ers tech­ni­cal and prac­ti­cal ed­u­ca­tion to the stan­dards of IR Part 66.

With an an­nual grad­u­at­ing batch of 20 stu­dents, which pri­mar­ily con­sists of lo­cal Jor­da­nian tal­ent who are typ­i­cally ab­sorbed into Jo­ramco, the academy has at any given time, 80 trainees at var­i­ous stages of the pro­gramme. Not all stu­dents are from Jor­dan how­ever.

A size­able por­tion of the stu­dent body in­cludes can­di­dates from coun­tries, such as Iraq, Libya, Egypt and Ye­men, who upon com­ple­tion of the pro­gramme, re­turn to their re­spec­tive coun­tries for em­ploy­ment.

When pressed on what the mar­ket can ex­pect from Jo­ramco as we head into 2019, the CEO shares that the trans­for­ma­tive jour­ney for the com­pany is still not yet com­plete. In ad­di­tion to its goal to achieve Boe­ing 777 main­te­nance ap­proval in the first quar­ter of next year, the MRO com­pany will con­tinue to de­velop its in­fras­truc­ture with new ca­pa­bil­i­ties.

The first of such ex­pan­sions are al­ready un­der­way with the con­struc­tion of a ded­i­cated paint hanger but the team at Jo­ramco are al­ready search­ing for new op­por­tu­ni­ties to bet­ter their core ser­vice.

“We have made sig­nif­i­cant in­roads into the de­vel­op­ment of the staff and the change of the in­fras­truc­ture, as well as the re­brand­ing of the com­pany, but now it’s a case of de­vel­op­ing — push­ing more down into the shop floor. This means im­prov­ing turn­around times and the ef­fi­ciency of work­force … trans­for­ma­tion is never com­plete,” con­cludes Wilkin­son.

We have made sig­nif­i­cant in­roads into the de­vel­op­ment of the staff and the change of the in­fras­truc­ture, as well as the re­brand­ing of the com­pany, but now it’s a case of de­vel­op­ing.”

Jeff Wilkin­son, CEO of Jo­ramco.

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