For over 30 years, Skyservice Business Aviation located in Canada has been a leader in business aircraft management, charter, Fixed Base Operations (FBOs), and aircraft maintenance. Marshall Myles, Skyservice CEO, gave his perspective on the company’s expansion prospects, his plans to penetrate the US market, and the overall growth of the private aviation industry worldwide. Tony White reports.
Consistently voted best FBOs in North America, Skyservice Business Aviation is a company that puts safety and service excellence first, ensuring that its clients enjoy a world class, private aircraft experience.
Clients have entrusted their airplane management needs to the company for over 30 years, and the leading best practices exemplified by Skyservice today are enjoying great gains in growing the private aviation business.
Marshall Myles, CEO of Skyservice Business Aviation, shared the company’s history and growth, as well as its outlook for the future.
“We have been in business since 1986,” he said. “With changes in the industry, however, comes opportunities for growth, not only for Skyservice, but for the industry overall.”
A refreshing outlook
The opportunities that Mr Myles described are certainly plentiful, but he first recapped some further milestones for Skyservice.
“Skyservice was founded in 1986 in Montreal, and in 1995 we added the second FBO location in Toronto, adding 160,000 sqft of hangar space,” he explained. “In 2005, we acquired another FBO along with an additional 96,000 sqft of hangar space in Calgary, and then acquired a fourth location in the Canadian market in November 2016 with the acquisition of an FBO in Ottawa, where we added another 40,000 sqft of hangar space.”
The quality of service is highly recognised. The Skyservice FBO in Montreal was named the top FBO in Canada by a leading Canadian trade publication, with Toronto ranking as the top FBO in the province of Ontario. Furthermore, Aviation International News recently ranked Skyservice’s Toronto FBO in the top 5% of FBOs in the Americas; with Calgary and Toronto ranking first in Canada. US based Business Jet Traveler also ranked Skyservice’s Toronto FBO in the top 5% of all FBOs in the Americas. Quite simply, the awards highlight Skyservice’s commitment to the quality of service it provides to each and every customer.
“We have four FBO locations in Canada, as I have described, and three pillars to our business,” Mr Myles elaborated. “They are aircraft management and private charter, FBO, and aircraft maintenance. We manage 75 airplanes, mostly mid to heavy jets. Skyservice also offers business and commercial aircraft operators the best of technical services and is the authorised service facility in Canada for many OEMs.”
Skyservice also manages airplanes and provides services outside of the company’s four bases including Vancouver, Victoria, Windsor, Waterloo and Halifax.
“In total, we currently have over 550,000 sqft of hangar space,” Mr Myles highlighted. “We have just started construction in Toronto on a new location adding 100,000 sqft of hangar space, plus an additional 20,000 sqft dedicated to office and lounge space. It is scheduled to open in spring 2019, and will help facilitate our growth in the Toronto market.”
The personal approach
Skyservice has established key relationships with the leading manufacturers of business jets from around the globe including Bombardier, Gulfstream, Dassault/Falcon and HondaJet. As an authorised service facility for these manufacturers, Skyservice performs maintenance and warranty services through its maintenance group for not only their own managed aircraft but other fleets as well.
Skyservice has over 650 employees – almost half of which are accredited maintenance professionals – along with 160 pilots. Many of these individuals have been with the company for 10, or sometimes even 20 years. This depth of experience helps Skyservice deliver integrated solutions that win client loyalty time and time again.
“One of the key elements in that success,” suggested Mr Myles, “is that Skyservice operates under a philosophy of transparency and accountability.
“In our management aircraft business group, we provide turn-key solutions: hangar space, fuel, service and maintenance and flight coordination. We cover all of the services that clients may require.”
Mr Myles added: “Aircraft management is the biggest driver for us today and key to our growth in the future. In the Canadian market, there are just over 400 aircraft classified as business aircraft, and we manage 75 of those. Looking at the market and our depth of knowledge and strong team, there are still significant growth opportunities for Skyservice in Canada.”
The capabilities and attention to detail in Skyservice’s team are a large component in how it accomplishes so much, yet the company is also aware of how a shortage of qualified maintenance technicians and pilots could well impact the industry going forward.
“Looking ahead, we anticipate a continued shortage of qualified pilots and maintenance engineers,” noted Mr Myles. “We have started to work with schools by providing various co-op opportunities within the organisation. In addition to the pilot and maintenance engineer shortage, a shortage of hangar space to accommodate the growth in the industry is a factor right around the world.”
With its overall growth plans for the business – within and beyond Canada – Skyservice looks to continue to lead in the industry.