In a Q&A session, Bii.aero’s sales director Andrew Newell says that by being big enough to cope and small enough to care, the company can make the difference to your business.
As an aftermarket supplier, Bii.aero is involved with the re-configuration and upgrades on interiors. The majority of re-configurations come with fleet and lease changes. To support this, the company is involved with replacement interior panels, bulkheads and class dividers, galleys, passenger seating – business and economy, cabin lighting, windows, IFE, stowage/storage, monuments, recycling of interiors removed.
Operational MRO services are becoming a large support activity and a daily business for Bii. As a result, the company has expanded, not only into the supply of materials, but also to provide consultation and advice to end users such as leasing companies, low-cost operators and mainline carriers. This is founded in its in-depth product knowledge of almost all aircraft interior components and configurations.
Q) Firstly, what is driving the types of aircraft interior trends and demands placed on your company by today’s customers?
We see the airlines trying to increase passenger count on the aircraft, so many of the re-configurations are to install more seats and passenger service unit/reading lights to increase the cabin capacity. Cleaning requirements have been taken very seriously by the operators with the majority specifying bespoke regimes. These are not only a practical consideration, but also a sales/brand differentiator. We have taken the decision to concentrate our expertise on interior components whilst ensuring and change in cleaning requirements is conformed to on a case by case basis.
Q) How important are aerospace legislations, flight safety critical issues, FST issues and lightweighting during the design stage?
Legislative changes are quickly dictating demand for compliant materials. Even in less-developed countries, the ‘new standard’ is being rolled out. For example, we are seeing the trend in seating especially going for much lighter seats – and less parts/spares for maintenance. Lessors are finding it increasingly difficult to lease old aircraft fit-outs.
Q) What differentiates your company from the competition?
Bii is a total solutions provider. Customers come to us because of our extensive knowledge of components. This includes historic knowledge and understanding of an extremely wide range of products. They also rely on Bii to understand how their brand differentiators need to be tailored through the aircraft interior experience.
Our current customers know that the complete project can be handed over to Bii for total management, and with components we can supply, new, repaired, exchanged or loaned units to make the programme operate within their chosen timeframe. We have an extensive MRO service providers list with pre-negotiated rates. For spares, we offer total support from manufacturing new parts, to supplying OEM replacement material. This total hands-free support is preferred by leasing companies and airlines especially during major checks.
Q) What particular aspect has helped your company get through the pandemic, and what kind of industry landscape will we face when everything gets back to the new normal?
Bii is a dynamic privately-owned business. We have a strong balance sheet that is not overly reliant on a single customer. The industry was very flat during 2020 and with our experience and relationships, we were able to win contracts that have helped us develop and continue through this pandemic and be in the perfect position for onward growth as market activity increases as we move through 2021. Short-term, the industry will be cautious and risk-averse. Cash will be king. Aftermarket options will expand with possibly more power by the hour and total care solution offerings.
Q) Would you say that your long-standing partnerships have brought huge benefits, particularly as trusted relationships can lead to a better way forward for all?
Yes, our relationships have enabled us to grow into new areas and to support our customers during their major checks. We have had staff on-site to offer a complete a hands-on service. During this time we have increased our supplier base for factory-new materials, and negotiated significant MRO service agreements. True partnerships always bring benefits.
Q) Finally, where next for your company?
With the growth in our support capability and the experienced team now at Bii, we are expecting significant growth during 2022 as the industry gets back to normal operation. We will be focusing on a data-driven approach that delivers tangible efficiency and cost-saving results for operators.
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