Swiss Excellence in Business Aviation
AMAC Aerospace was incorporated in 2007, as a result of a group of individuals with a desire to create a world class MRO. AMAC’s Group Executive Chairman & Chief Executive Officer, Kadri Muhiddin speaks to us about the firm and some of the service it provides, as well as discussing being named in CEO of the Year 2017 and CEO of the Year – Switzerland.
Established in 2007, AMAC Aerospace have raised the bar with all activities surrounding maintenance, completion and refurbishment. The company’s first completion was for a narrow body VIP client and the project was returned to service on budget and on time, a target which is more often than not hard to come by in today’s market environment.
With over 100 years accumulated experience in the aviation industry between them, they knew they could do this. The group came from a successful background within this particular sector who understood exactly what is necessary to satisfy the market and the particular clientele. Kadri tells us about the services offered by the firm and what types of clients the firm works with, noting how client satisfaction is important to the company.
“AMAC’s customer base quickly included Governments and institutions, High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI), Royal families and organisations with large fleets for charter including narrow and wide body aircraft. Our clients continue returning to us, following satisfaction of completed work on their aircraft and new clients approach us after they learn from others about our particular expertise in Business Aviation. We do not classify our clients by region, wealth or size of aircraft as every aircraft is a personal and unique tool, therefore we respect these reasons and complete every project based on when they arrive versus when they are scheduled to leave.
“Highlighting its success, our company is now the largest privately owned MRO & Completion centre in the world that offers the products and services through a hangar network of 7x different hangars spread around the continent. Also, we have surpassed the $2 billion mark in sales in less than ten years of operation and we believe that whatever interesting projects presents itself to AMAC, we are prepared and capable with our engineers and craftspeople to prove ourselves.”
Referring to his past roles, Kadri discusses how he draws on these experiences when making decisions in his current role. Boasting a wealth of expertise and extensive knowledge within the industry, Kadri is able to exert his influence amongst his staff and has overseen the rise of AMAC, alluding to the fact that he sticks to his own mantra, which has overseen his success.
“Regarding my leadership, I have a mantra, which I have taught my three sons and I repeat to my colleagues across the board. ‘To be successful is not only to reach your target but to maintain and always try to improve the standard.’ My whole working life has been in aviation. From becoming a qualified licenced Avionics engineer at the age of 21 years old, working on the shop floor to heading our own MRO in 2007. Opportunity and necessity have taken me from signing aircrafts off to sitting in the board room/directing the way forward. Starting with a small company and transferring that exposure to operating a multibillion dollar organisation, whilst maintaining the target and improving on this with every year.
“Previously, my engineering position within a major airline saw me working with my hands on the aircraft. Also, I led teams to work on these aircraft, and it does not matter which country you are in, most air authorities have the same rigid form for understanding their directives, which can easily be manifested into a working dynamism that allows for over self-development.
“In 2007, when AMAC was presented at EBACE in Geneva with just a model of the impending hangar, interest was so great that the response showed us the future was bright. Today, the group have nearly a thousand employees in total. We have our main hangars in Basel with facilities and or offices in Zurich, Istanbul, Bodrum in Turkey and a facility in the south of France in Auch. My face and name are synonymous with the companies that have been founded and built. I offer guidance, good understanding in the area of expertise that I am versed in, I offer myself to my entire staff as we adopt a flat management with an open door policy. Also, I move forward with my management to make sure that our business runs smoothly and efficiently, relying on their professional performance and quality in their craftsmanship which is second to none. Lastly, I do not take credit which is not mine or the company’s achievements. Success only comes from the people that I work with, they are the engine behind the scenes and they are the ones who deserve the credit.”
Being a successful leader, it is important the CEO’s vision and mission is translated and ingrained into the company’s staff. Kadri discusses his leadership style in a little more details, explaining how he ensures everyone within his organisation understands his vision and works towards it. Tell me about your leadership style.
“Put simply, my leadership is well known for its simple flat management with an open door policy and no bureaucracy. Since I worked on the shop floor, I considered teamwork key. We are all a link in a chain. Each one is responsible for his part. Also, we have a news circular for the whole company to contribute with their personal news, marriages, births and so on, it gives AMAC an opportunity to share news with everyone, so we all know what is going on. It makes me proud to see what the staff are all up to. A marathon team for example demonstrates to me that the company considers itself as one team and one family.”
Another aspect of AMAC’s ongoing success is how staff approach a new client, when undertaking a project. Making a good first impression is always important, and Kadri comments on the company’s process, which guarantees right from the start that the outcome of the project will meet the needs of everyone involved, and in some cases, surpass client expectations.
“Essentially, my role today is to leave most of it to my management team to start with presentations and discussions whilst I am aware of its progress. Various departments can be involved at this stage, so that I am often there in person when it comes to particular situations and or concluding the agreement. If a client is interested in a completion service, a project typically moves from a design for the outfitting of the aircraft.
“Once the designs are ready to be distributed, we give the design package to our multidisciplined engineering departments and they will systematically dissect the details to make sure that the project can be delivered to the expectations of the owner or in our language is a ‘Go’. It is rare for us to see a design package, which might constitute a ‘No-Go’. Once engineering has completed their analysis and work, we then have our Project Management team draw up the necessary milestones for project production. A number of meeting will be necessary to fine tune any details, which the client might want added but once the project has surpassed the design and engineering phase the production will usually start straight away.
“At AMAC Aerospace, our philosophy is to get the aircraft in and out on time and on budget. We are not interested in creating a parking lot outside our hangars, we are only interested that the aircraft remain up in the sky to serve their purpose. With this notion, we look to ensure that we complete the project to the client’s satisfaction. To date, we have nearly 20 completion projects delivered on time covering all sizes from narrow to wide bodies. With maintenance projects, we have surpassed over 3500 modification projects in the 10 years we have existed and those projects range from belly camera installations, SDS, new SATCOM installations through to specific STC developments for one offs.”
Overall, Kadri talks about his future aspirations for AMAC, mentioning some upcoming projects which the firm will undertake. He observes that client expectations are rising, but staff will endeavour to ensure that they continue to match client demands, with the ultimate goal of surpassing their requirements. Kadri signs off by telling us what plans he has regarding his own career, and how he plans to build upon his ongoing success.
“Looking ahead, AMAC started small and expanded in line with market forces and customer demand, and it will continue to do so. We are proud to say we believe we have raised the standard and for that reason customers are happy to return to us. Moving forward, I hope to continue with being able to provide a service of excellence that also goes above a customer’s expectations, so that it is them who will keep AMAC going from strength to strength.
“Ultimately, my career remains in aviation as part of the companies I lead and support. I have no other plans to expand further than with my current portfolio. My aim is to ensure that those companies continue to grow strong and successful as they are today. At my time of life, I prefer to encourage and develop the next generation coming through the ranks. Their success and enthusiasm will be mine too. When the time is right, we should hand over to our young generation to innovate and lead the industry. Keeping the same old people will not serve the benefit of the company in the long run.”
Company: AMAC Aerospace
Email: [email protected] amacaerospace.com
Address: Henric Petri, Strasse 35, Basel, CH-4051, Switzerland
Phone: 0041 583103131