CJP 2021: Textron Aviation Enhances Customer Support

Representatives from Textron Aviation provided an update on the opening day of CJP 2021 about the company’s ongoing efforts to support CJP members, even as it continues to grapple with the effects from COVID-19. Lannie O’Bannion, Textron Aviation’s senior vice president of global sales and flight operations, began the presentation with a Citation sales market update.

Photo by Peter Stratton

Photo by Peter Stratton

Noting prices are up across the board as inventories of available pre-owned aircraft continue to dwindle, O’Bannion revealed most Citation models offered for sale are hovering in low single-digit percentages of their respective fleets. “We’re obviously in a strong market,” he said. “It’s a seller’s market. If you look at all the Citations that we’ve manufactured, there’s three percent that are for sale. The historical average is around eight percent. And if you look at [Citations] just 10 years [of age] and newer, there’s around one percent [available for sale.]”

Brian Rohloff, Textron Aviation’s senior vice president of customer support, offered insights on the company’s customer support moves, including the addition of more mobile support units (MSU) across the U.S. The company also recently split the customer service representative role into two groups, customer service managers and the technical service managers, with the latter focused exclusively on assisting owners with aircraft undergoing service or maintenance.

“Their focus is to make sure that we’re providing you a safe quality product, on schedule and within the budget that it’s been agreed to,” he said. Along similar lines, services and billing are now outlined in a single document, Rohloff noted, and the company recently expanded its Houston Hobby Airport (HOU) facility by 10,000 square feet and added four more MSUs in the Dallas/Fort Worth metroplex.

Kriya Shortt, senior vice president of parts & programs, emphasized her department’s efforts to maintain steady flow of parts to Citation operators, particularly during AOG events. “Like our product development teams and our service organization, the Textron Aviation parts and distribution teams were not quiet during the COVID pandemic,” she said.

Globally, Textron Aviation has approximately 300,000 square feet of warehouse space housing “about 700,000 individual SKUs, of which about 250,000 of those are active movers for us,” Shortt said. “In normal times, our support rate [for] same-day parts shipments of those stock range components is about 97%, which our team is really proud of.

“Today, we’re still in the mid 90s,” she continued. “I don’t want to minimize the pressure on the supply chain, because I know the impact that it does have for you … But to be down some three percent in same-day availability while flight activity is up 20% is really a significant effort of my team, in partnership with our integrated supply chain, to make sure that we’re positioned well to support you.”

The session closed with Steve Sperley, vice president of sales for the company, called on Citation pilots to donate their aircraft to support next year’s Special Olympics Airlift, the eighth such event to be supported by Textron Aviation.

“We’re going big this year,” he said. “Our goal is to have over 200 aircraft [total]. If we pull that off, that’s going to be a landing in Orlando approximately every 2-3 minutes.” Sperley also noted Textron Aviation would recognize the “CJP Special 100,” the first 100 CJP members to donate their aircraft, with commemorative mugs and other items.

Photo by Peter Stratton

Photo by Peter Stratton

Through November 16, more than 100 airplanes have registered for the airlift. For more information about the Special Olympics Airlift and how to participate, visit here.