Of the three low-cost carriers dominating Mexican aviation, Interjet, founded in 2005, is a bit different. It offers many in-house MRO capabilities at Interjet MRO Solutions. Gabriel Gomez Chavez, in charge of customer support, outlines the unit’s work and plans.
Why did Interjet decide to do most maintenance in-house, rather than outsource like other low-cost carriers?
Interjet decided to perform maintenance in-house to reduce direct and indirect maintenance costs through the proper managing of its own labor costs and resources. One of Interjet’s main objectives was to establish its own maintenance center as a basis to continue with the company’s growth, promoting and ensuring that Interjet’s current and future fleet will always receive the best service under the best practices of the worldwide aviation industry.
How has Interjet’s business model of providing significant customer services affected Interjet’s own maintenance?
From the beginning, Interjet’s plans were focused on supporting all its maintenance requirements and providing third-party services without neglecting Interjet’s fleet. Interjet is developing a business plan that will allow us to continue supporting the customer’s needs, considering current Interjet fleet growth.
Interjet operates two types, Sukhoi Superjets and Airbus A320-family jets. What challenges does that pose for maintenance, and how do you meet those challenges?
These challenges are faced through skilled maintenance personnel, specialized engineers, a maintenance directorate based on developing efficient maintenance planning and a versatile supply chain.
How has technical support for the Superjets been? Do you have any difficulty or delays in getting technical advice or parts?
Interjet is receiving the necessary technical support from Superjet, and there are plans established for continuous improvement regarding the supply of parts and services.
How difficult is recruiting mechanics in Mexico? Do you see recruiting challenges as Mexican aviation grows?
Interjet has permanent and proactive recruitment plans according to its short- and long-term maintenance needs. Interjet has its own training center and, in addition, there is a close collaboration with aviation maintenance training institutions and universities. This allows Interjet to have more options to cover its maintenance personnel requirements.
Which components do you maintain in-house?
Interjet has more than 200 capabilities to perform maintenance on several components and is working to develop additional capabilities in the coming years. These will include pneumatic, hydraulic and electromechanical components, avionics, batteries, slides, oxygen and wheels and brakes.
Do you have delays or difficulties in getting parts through customs into Mexico?
Interjet has its own department of foreign trade, which facilitates the management and handling of goods and materials for customs clearance.
How much work do you do for other aircraft operators now? How much would you like to do?
This year, it was mostly aircraft painting. We have performed checks for carriers from America, and we are also working with lessors.
What do you see as Interjet’s advantages as a maintenance source for other airlines?
Airline philosophy. As an airline, we understand the customer’s needs, providing an extended range of services based on operational experience.
How do Interjet’s labor costs compare with labor costs in the U.S.? With labor costs in Central America?
Labor costs at Interjet MRO Solutions are lower than in the U.S. and similar to and even lower than its competitors in Latin America.
What are the major needs of MRO providers in Mexico?
It is known that in recent years the Mexican government has worked to strengthen the aerospace industry in the country. It is important to continue with this tendency, promoting the growth of the industry to meet the maintenance needs of the coming years.