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Switching from business jets to larger airframes can create certain challenges, but we have done it very successfully on both the Boeing 757 and 737. We've been encouraged to enter that market and we're considering it. 

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RR: Can you give us an example or two of difficult challenges you had to overcome on a particular project?

ER: Ok, so it’s probably easiest to start with some of our recent ones. There are probably three projects that come to mind. There are two G550's I can talk about and the 737 we’re just about to deliver. Let’s take one of the 550's first. The customer came to us and said "I think I bought the wrong airplane." I said "why do you think that?" He had purchased a 550 that was sectioned off into several areas with bulkheads. It had been great for the old owner who wanted all these compartmented areas, but the new owner wanted an open arrangement – more of a sense of volume. It's good to have that kind of wealth, but he simply moved too quickly and told me that if someone came up and offered him a half-million less than he paid, he would take it. He was obviously pretty disappointed in his purchase. I told him hang on - let's review the proposal and what we're doing and let you see what you can't see because you're not supposed to know everything about aircraft interiors - and we do. So, I was able to talk him off the ledge, but he was still far from excited over how we might turn lemons into lemonade.

But as we started coming up with drawings and illustrations where he could visualize it and understand what options there actually were, he gradually began to get excited. That was the first start of the challenge. The other was the floor plan change. He wanted to get rid of the crew rest area, which I can't say I felt good about doing, so I wanted to speak to him about that and thankfully we have fantastic relationships with our friends at the International Aircraft Dealers Association, in addition to being very friendly with a lot of the leading brokers around the world. So, I was able to take advantage of those relationships and say; this is what the client's doing. He bought this airplane. This is the serial number. This is the total time and cycles. This is the expected years of ownership etc. etc.

He's requesting that we modify the floor plan in this part of the modification. What are your thoughts? I wanted to come back with recommendations from four or five leading brokers to give him a real educated understanding of what that meant for his ownership. So on the back end, when he goes to divest himself of the asset, there would be no surprise like “Oh my God, I wish I would have known that before.” In the end we found the perfect ‘informed’ solution and he is very happy with his airplane.

“When you combine passion, talent and experience, you unveil an opportunity to create the extraordinary.”

-  Eric Roth, Founder & CEO

RR: Hang on a minute. You've drawn me into this story about the crew rest but given us no payoff.  Did he stay with the crew rest or not?

ER: Of course.

RR: Of course, what? He kept it or got rid of it?

ER: (Roth snickers) No, he got rid of it. Maybe not the best for resale but we got him the best most informed advice and data out there – and it was his decision. And once again, that’s what we do. It’s not always about making a decision that fits with industry standards. It’s about listening – really listening to what your customer wants, putting all the data on the table and then allowing them to make their own decision. And for them in the end, they're still mainly going from Teterboro to West Palm Beach, and so obviously a crew rest does not come into play very often. But you have to peel back the onion and we're excellent at doing that and when you get through those core layers, you really start to discover your customer’s true motivations and desires. This approach is, I think, unique to us and it almost guarantees our success by every measure.

RR: Well that certainly qualifies as a challenge. Good story. Great outcome. You said you have one more example maybe?

ER: Yes. Ok, so we had another owner who was a little over six foot. He says I want to be able to watch a movie with my girlfriend but I don't want to play toesies on the divan. And I want to watch a big TV. How do we make that happen? Okay, so first we talk first about certification, 16g and then we're going to talk about how willing are you to give up her certification? If we do this we're gonna minimize your passenger carry. Are you okay with that? So, what we ended up creating was a 120-inch divan. As you can imagine, only a certain portion of it was legal for taxi, takeoff and landing.

So, our solution was that we made that third part of the divan look aesthetically identical to the rest. Even those highly educated on Interiors would never know until you start lifting up cushions or looking at documentation. Then we created a large credenza on the other side – out of which popped a 40 inch monitor. And if you know the cabin width of a 550, you know that’s not much distance, so the screen looks huge.

RR: Good solution. I can guess he was happy?

ER: Very happy! And I could go on of course. There are challenges like these on virtually every job we do – but in truth, it’s the challenges that make it fun and stimulating. It forces us to flex our creative muscle, find solutions and then watch the customer walk away happy. All in all, it’s a very satisfying job – not only for me but everyone that works here.

RR: I’m sure that’s very true and I’m sure you look back on each of those stories with an experiential fondness. And I would well imagine your customers do the same and never forget them when it comes time for their next refurbishment.

ER: Well, that is the hope, yes! We’re very proud of our client roster – especially our repeat customers.

RR: Well Eric, I certainly want to thank you and Adrianne for your time this morning. Really great interview and for all our readers that don’t know about you already, this will give them a great insight into what you guys do up there everyday on Long Island at International Jet Interiors. Next time I get up that way, I would love to stop by for a visit and say hello!

ER: You’d be welcome anytime Rick!



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