ExecuJet MRO Services is celebrating its 30th anniversary this year, marking a major milestone for the aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm, a pioneer of emerging markets and a company that is continuing to expand. ExecuJet started in 1991 in South Africa at Johannesburg’s Lanseria International Airport, where it is still headquartered today.
Since its inception, ExecuJet has seen continuous growth. It has established maintenance businesses around the world and became one of the most well-known and respected brands in business aviation. Besides South Africa, the company has maintenance bases in Australia, Belgium, Malaysia and the United Arab Emirates. In addition, it has a franchisee in China that operates under the ExecuJet MRO Services brand.
Since 2019, the company has been owned by Dassault Aviation, which has invested in ExecuJet’s expansion. ExecuJet has allowed Dassault Aviation to offer factory service in new areas, including the Asia/Pacific and Middle East regions. ExecuJet MRO Services President and founder Graeme Duckworth has been with the company since ‘day one’ and seen it expand beyond South Africa to be a leading global player.
“The company’s strategy has always been to go into developing, under-served markets and create a world-class MRO business,” says Duckworth, adding that OEMs have been supportive and integral to ExecuJet’s success.
OEMs need world-class MRO companies supporting their aircraft, because potential buyers want to know that their aircraft will be well maintained by local facilities. As ExecuJet expanded internationally, it has played an integral role in facilitating the introduction of new aircraft types into emerging markets.
Duckworth says another reason ExecuJet was able to create a strong global network of MRO companies, is because it has a strong company culture.
“We have taken trusted and proven talent, who were developed internally, and provided them with opportunities to further develop their careers. This is how we developed a strong company culture and a cohesive international network providing our business aircraft customers with consistently high levels of service,” says Duckworth. He says the company values include, amongst others, integrity, honesty and customer service.
After South Africa, ExecuJet expanded into the Middle East, where Regional VP Nick Weber helped establish the operation 20 years ago and continues to head the business. Weber says when ExecuJet entered the Middle East, the business aviation market there was under-developed. He says ExecuJet worked hard to develop the market, which today is a vibrant region for business aviation.
ExecuJet next expanded into Australia and Malaysia, followed by China, and then Belgium.
Specialising in airframe, avionics and engine maintenance, ExecuJet MRO Services engineers are factory-trained and certified on a wide range of aircraft, including: Dassault, Bombardier, Embraer, Gulfstream, Hawker, and various others.
Duckworth noted: “It is really important to develop a MRO network and not just stick to one country if you want to be successful at this time. ExecuJet established maintenance facilities and operations in various locations to efficiently meet the customers’ needs, providing fast and reliable maintenance services.”
Such a network and customer experience reputation has been recognized by Dassault when ExecuJet MRO Services became a member of the Dassault group in 2019. It has continued to maintain its own distinct brand identity and remains an organization maintaining aircraft types from various manufacturers. “We have created a strong international brand through our global presence, our attention to service and the accumulation of good customer feedback over the years,” adds Duckworth.
Moving forward, Duckworth says ExecuJet is expanding further, with Malaysia and Dubai being the key growth areas. This is fundamental to Dassault’s strategy to ensure there is always the right level of capacity and capability for customers wherever they need it, and it supports the ExecuJet growth plans well. “We plan to build a new, purpose-built MRO facility in Malaysia and are developing another MRO facility in Dubai that is due to open in next year’s first-half. Despite tough competition we have a very loyal customer base, which is constantly expanding, and for which we are eternally grateful,” adds Duckworth.
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