Estimated reading time 8 minutes, 37 seconds.
As the Covid-19 pandemic caused havoc around the world last year, Precision Aviation Group (PAG) was also putting out fires on several other fronts.
The record wildfire seasons in Australia and California required air support from several PAG customers in those markets, and hurricanes in Louisiana caused operators to lean on PAG’s facility in Lafayette for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services.
Around the same time, PAG was integrating the operations of two recent acquisitions: World Aviation in Toronto, Ontario, and EFIX Aviation Support in Brazil. Then, as Covid-19 vaccines began to roll out in early 2021, PAG customers started delivering them, along with mass quantities of personal protective equipment for frontline workers.
“We take a lot of pride in what we do every single day,” said Ketan Desai, vice president of sales and marketing at PAG. “But during this pandemic, it really brought home just how adaptable and resilient the company, and our teams, truly are.”
PAG is one of the world’s leading MRO and supply chain services companies, with 11 locations in the United States, Canada, Australia and Latin America that serve rotorcraft and fixed-wing operators.
The company motto — “Others sell parts, we sell support” — encapsulates PAG’s commitment to extraordinary customer service.
In the chaos of a pandemic, amplified by political upheaval and social unrest in several countries, this commitment became more crucial than ever before.
PAG’s response to Covid-19 started in early March last year, when a Fortune 50 company executive, who is a friend of PAG’s CEO David Mast, called to explain how bad the pandemic could eventually become.
Immediately, Mast and his leadership team started working on a strategy to keep employees safe, and to ensure PAG could remain open and continue serving customers.
“It was really about protecting the health and safety of our employees, first and foremost,” said Mast. “But also in doing that, we allowed our facilities to remain open throughout this pandemic, and we have never had a shutdown.”
PAG had Covid-19 protocols in place on March 12, 2020, said Mast — one day after the World Health Organization officially declared a pandemic was occurring.
PAG designated a hygiene specialist in each of its facilities who was responsible for wiping down every touch surface and “sanitizing everything you could think of,” said Mast. That same week, all PAG facilities were closed to visitors, and employees were not authorized to travel.
In April, four PAG facilities began split shifts to allow for six feet of physical distancing between employees, and by February 2021, all employees were required to wear KN95 masks at work. Less-effective surgical and cloth masks were no longer permitted.
“We have taken a very cautious approach,” said Mast. “If people travel — meaning, they get on an airplane — they’re not allowed back in our facilities for 14 days . . . and I think the protocols we followed from Day One met all the global standards which all of our locations were required to have.”
The acquisitions of World Aviation in Toronto and EFIX Aviation Support in Brazil were part of PAG’s ongoing commitment to achieving a global presence with local support.
World Aviation specializes in the rewind and repair of rotary and static electrical generator and motor sub-components. EFIX is focused on MRO services for the South American aerospace and defense market, including landing gear, hydraulic/pneumatic, electrical accessories, starter generators, batteries and avionics.
In addition, last year, PAG’s Australian location moved into a new purpose built 14,000-square-foot facility in Brisbane, which significantly increased its footprint in that market.
“The expansion of those facilities just puts our money where our mouth is,” said Mast. “We want to be where our customers are . . . and then the acquisition strategy is really to add products and services to better serve our customer base.”
PAG has three additional businesses under letter of intent, with the goal of finalizing their acquisitions sometime this year. And the company also continues to invest in its rotable pool, adding US$2 million in parts to support customers in Latin America in 2020. PAG has a total global parts inventory valued at more than $40 million.
“Failure is not an option, no matter what we’re doing,” said Desai. “The only other option is to win.”
“We’re going to figure out a way to serve our customers, whether it’s sitting in the middle of a parking lot with a hotspot on a laptop, or it’s personally driving a prop to a grounded operator in Las Vegas (from Atlanta) in the middle of the winter storm which shut down all major carriers. . . . The reality and the deliverable is, we serve our customers, day in and day out.”
“It’s our DNA as an organization, and we’re thrilled to have the ability to continuously grow.”
Learn more at www.precisionaviationgroup.com.