Laura Roke, Engine Sales Executive at Magnetic MRO, has been part of Magnetic family for over six years – and during this time, she not only fell in love with aviation but had been part of different units, bringing her best to any team she joins. Her positive, go-getter attitude, mixed with extensive experience in sales, makes her a real expert in her field – and she's happy to share some of her insights on how the pandemic has changed the dynamic of the industry and more in this #3QuestionsWith feature.
You have been part of Magnetic family for more than six years – tell us more on changes you went through over these years?
To start, I have to say that I can't believe that time is passing so quickly! Yes, I have been working at Magnetic MRO already for more than six years. And I'm so happy and so proud to be part of this "magnetic" family.
My career in aviation started as Customer Support Manager in the Spare Parts Department. After one and half year management offered me a new challenge, I took the opportunity to start a new business line – engine stands lease and created the brand - Enginestands24.com. It was really very challenging period: I started everything from scrap and had passed this school "learning by doing". In some areas, I failed; in some, I gained a lot, and also become sure that aviation and sales are my passion. After a few years, my great colleague Daiva Zemaite joined this experimental business unit, and we did really great work together. I'm very happy to have such a great experience.
And a few weeks before COVID 19 has frozen all world, I started a new position as Engine Sales Executive and joined with the great Engine team. I can honestly tell, that it was not the easiest decision in my life, but I understood that right now is the time to go further and do go from engine stands to the engines! It does make me happy to see that Enginestands24 without me is still doing a great job and always all the best to my former team! I am aware of challenges waiting for me, but I'm ready to conquer it, especially when so great and professional colleagues as Alexey Ivanov and Filip Stanisic are in the same team. Couldn't ask for more – my career changes signify how flexible and people-orientated this company is.
What are the main challenges in the current engine and engine part trading market and how you and your team are tackling these challenges?
COVID-19 pandemic for sure did and will make a big impact on the narrow-body Aircraft Engine market. International travel restrictions and lockdown "locked" engine and engine parts trading in the market as well. Airlines around the world are facing extreme financial pressures and are cutting capacity as passenger demand dropped rapidly since pandemic stopped travels and a large number of international as well as domestic flights are getting cancelled all across the globe. This is one of the main impacts of the virus. But some airlines found their "survival plan" – cargo flights. And so we organically started to focus on cargo airlines or those airlines which temporarily started operate like cargo in different markets and regions. This was a shift in our tactics, response to market change.
In my opinion, the biggest challenge was that just in one-day aviation stopped and nobody had no clue what to expect. And yet we're just predicting what's going to happen in future. However, I know aviation is resilient, the market is going to recover sooner rather than later, and since I am working with a really professional team, I am a firm believer we will go out of this stronger than ever.
Engine workshop has expanded this year – can you tell us more on how customers and the industry is responding to this expansion? How this affects the workshop work organization and how the team is coping with these challenges? Maybe any of these services are in particular demand given the current situation?
Engine team with Zoran Bozic in the front did a great job as workshop capability expanded rapidly, especially for CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B engines. We can perform hospital repairs on the engine hot sections (combustion chamber replacement, HPT / LPT stg 1 NGVs change, partial HPT blades replacement, change of LPT MM or replacement of fan SMs 21-22). I think it is a good advantage and added value for our customer. Of course, there are plenty more services on offer, like QEC & BE replacement and inventorization, video borescope inspection and interpretation of findings, End-Of-Lease inspections, preservation renewal, boro-blend repairs, Top/bottom case repair, power conversion, module replacement, third-party repair management during shop visits for CFM56-3, CFM56-5B, CFM56-7B and V2500 engines.
And, since the start of COVID19 induced crisis, most of the operators in Europe grounded aircraft, and engine repairs were not the main priority during this time. But we kept having discussions with most European operators and airlines from different regions as well as lessors, and we are keeping the close look to see when the situation changes. We already see some positive signs, especially in the last few weeks when the borders started to re-open and people starting to plan travels for business and leisure; thus I believe, that demand of engine repairs will increase shortly. And with such capabilities list like ours – and a great team behind - we are ready to meet that demand.