Fifty Years of Jet Aviation


Jet Aviation Basel apron and hangars

In 1967, Carl Hirschmann began Jet Aviation. He started with maintenance on four Gates (now Bombardier) Learjets that were brought to Europe by retired senior US military.

Over the years it has grown into a world-renowned maintenance company, with 25 fixed based operations serving hundreds of customer aircraft from around the world.

Rob Smith joined Jet Aviation in 2012 and became its president in 2014. He is also a vice president of General Dynamics, which owns Jet Aviation.

Much has happened to Jet Aviation in the three and half years since Smith became president. He has overseen operational improvements throughout the company’s network. There has been development and expansion in the FBO network in Asia, Europe, the Middle East and North America. These FBO facilities regularly gain maintenance and update approvals on many current and new business aircraft.

On 1st January 2017, in celebration of its 50th anniversary and to signal its readiness to embrace the future, Jet Aviation launched a new corporate logo. One of the most notable changes in the branding initiative was the deer-head symbol giving way to a stand-alone monogram inscribed with the word “JET.”

“Milestones such as this provide an excellent opportunity to reflect on the past as we look to the future. As we continue to grow and expand our capabilities, it’s important for our customers to recognise the strength and consistency of our standards, culture and service philosophy no matter where we are,” Smith said, on announcing the logo change.

He currently serves as a member of the European Business Aviation Association (EBAA) board of governors.

Rob Smith, president of Jet Aviation

Smith took time out of his busy schedule to speak to Corporate Jet Investor.

Corporate Jet Investor: It would be silly to ask what might happen to Jet Aviation in the next 50 years, but what might happen in the next three years to the company?

Smith: We will continue to implement our One Jet transformation to further advance our customer service. We will also continue advancing the company through organic growth and expansions. We’ve had some recent additions in Dubai (DWC) and Malta, and look forward to soon opening our third hangar in Singapore. We also broke ground on our new wide-body hangar in Basel last month, which will be completed by the end of 2018.

Corporate Jet Investor: How important is growing the company in areas where you are not well represented?

Smith: We continue to look for new opportunities to better serve our customers across the world. They are our number one priority and we are fully committed to meeting their needs as close to demand as possible.

Corporate Jet Investor: Are there any plans in the near future to add locations to your FBO network?

Smith: We continue to look for new opportunities to better serve our customers across the world and see expansion as a key area of growth for Jet Aviation.

Corporate Jet Investor: Is there anything you have wanted to do but have been stopped from doing?

Smith: Our plans are on track and we are very excited about the future.

Corporate Jet Investor: Is there anything else you would like to say about running Jet Aviation?

Smith: Business aviation is a fascinating, dynamic industry at the forefront of technology. To remain a leader in this fast-paced industry, we are fully committed to investing in the latest technologies that support the highest quality and safety standards. We have fantastic customers, many of whom have been loyal to us for decades, and we fully intend to continue earning their trust. We are currently investing in our One Jet transformation, in our systems, processes, service standards and our people, to ensure we remain relevant for our customers worldwide.

In conclusion, from what Smith has said, Jet Aviation has plans to grow where it can and to serve its current and future customers with the most modern technologies at state-of-the-art facilities at all of its worldwide network of FBOs.

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