Hawker stays in business with Global Customer Support
After a journey through Chapter 11, Beechcraft Corporation (formerly Hawker Beechcraft) emerged from the restructuring process earlier this year. While the company will no longer build the Hawker product lines, it is making a significant investment in aftermarket services to support the existing Hawker fleet.
“We continue to support all of our customers including all of our jet programs and we’re continuing to invest in the global customer support organization,” says Christi Tannahill, senior vice president of Global Customer Support, Hawker Beechcraft Services.
The Global Customer Support (GCS) team supports all Hawker and Beechcraft products. The network includes 10 facilities in the United States, Mexico and the United Kingdom, along with more than 90 authorized service centers around the world.
“One of the largest assets as an organization are the 36,000 planes flying around out there today,” says Brian Howell, vice president, Global Customer Support of Business Development, Hawker Beechcraft Services.
Of Beechcraft’s 36,000 total customers, Hawker clients make up over 50% of its market base. Given that at least half of the company’s revenues are derived from Hawker products, the company has strategically built its business to support the aftermarket. Through Global Customer Support Beechcraft has invested $375 million in parts inventory globally and has already spent over $22 million on either new service centers or improving existing ones. Hawker also has large parts distribution bases in Dallas, London, Dubai and Singapore and continues to look at further strategic locations.
Howell says that there are opportunities to grow the support business as it is a larger portion of the overall company from a percentage standpoint. There has been a focus on investing in GCS during the last four years and Howell says the business is starting to reap the benefits.
The company has made a considerable investment in the support of the Hawker 900 and Hawker 400 lines with modifications.
In addition to product support, GCS is also offering an upgrade package for the Hawker 400 – the upgraded variant will be called the Hawker 400XPR (pictured). The program, which is expected to receive final approval in Q4 2013, will provide modifications like winglets, new engines and avionics that are expected to improve performance, operating cost and resale value.
“The Hawker 400XPR program is the most strategic decision the organization has made,” says Howell.
The company has invested tens of millions of dollars in developing the Hawker 400XPR upgrades since emerging from bankruptcy with the scheme being a major part of GCS’s mission.
“Global customer support is as strong as it’s ever been and we will continue to use the Hawker branding on the parts and distribution side as well as the service side,” says Tannahill.
In October 2012, Hawker Beechcraft released a statement saying that it was “evaluating its strategic alternatives for the Hawker product lines, which could include a sale of some or all of those product lines, or a closure of the entire jet business if no satisfactory bids are received.”
The company confirms that it is still looking to sell the Hawker 4000 and Premier 1A production lines. But Global Customer Support is here to stay and Beechcraft will support its older products and continue to look for opportunities to expand its reach in the aftermarket business.