20-Apr-2016 Source: Heli-One
Heli-One, the world’s largest independent provider of helicopter maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services, has recently promoted Carolyn Forsyth to General Manager of Sales, Marketing, and Business Development. Her prior role was Regional Sales Director for Europe, Middle East, Africa, and Asia Pacific. She will now oversee global Sales, Business Development, Marketing as well as PBH Programs at Heli-One. Previously, Carolyn had spent nearly 20 years in marketing and customer support roles at Pratt & Whitney Canada, CHC, Bond Helicopters and Rotortech. She holds an MBA from McGill University in Montreal, Canada and a BCom from Edinburgh University.
After the announcement was made, we spoke with Carolyn about her thoughts on the challenges and opportunities that face the aviation industry – for MROs like Heli-One as well as operators and OEMs.
Congratulations on your new role! Can you tell us a little bit about your background in the industry?
I have been in aerospace for most of my professional career, starting on the maintenance side and then in roles with an operator and an OEM. It’s been helpful to understand the OEM and operator perspective especially being in the MRO sector.
After working on the operator and OEM side of the aviation business – what has drawn you to the MRO sector?
It’s a very global business. It’s interesting to work with customers from all over the world and the different challenges associated with that. I love being able to go to a customer, anywhere in the world, who is working with the platforms that we work on and saying, whatever it is they want – we can do it. We work with customers very closely and help them solve their challenges. We offer such a spectrum of services as an organization that we can really address all their needs. We can find spare parts, we can send a mobile repair team, we can exchange components, we can do airframe inspections, we can design a modification; I find that particularly motivating.
It can be challenging to work in countries we’ve never done business in before and understand the nuances and process – but to be able to bring it all together, win some work and deliver it to the customer successfully, that makes me happy.
What challenges do you see in the helicopter industry?
For the Oil & Gas market, with oil prices being depressed, it is a huge challenge for operators. Everyone is looking at making reductions in cost to be able to keep operating at a different price point. For us, we have to redouble our efforts to be more efficient and pass on those efficiencies to customers. In some cases, operators are delaying the purchase of new aircraft and are looking to upgrade aircraft instead – which is an opportunity for us to provide modifications to meet those challenges.
What opportunities do you see in the MRO market?
We’ve had the opportunity to explore growth in new markets for us like Asia Pacific. As operators become more sophisticated with their missions and needs, we’ve been able to support the evolution of their growth. We’ve been able to support public organizations as they expand their helicopter usage and adoption into Search & Rescue, law enforcement, and EMS. If you look at China for example, it makes sense that over time they will invest more into those areas and there are big opportunities for growth. We’re doing a lot of work to support that market and continue to grow opportunities.
Why do you see the growth for Heli-One?
We’ve been able to secure contracts in new markets such as Korea, China, Malaysia and Africa but also expand our internal capabilities as well. Our newest facility in Rzeszow, Poland has made huge strides in building experience and aircraft capability. It’s now a well-functioning operation that continues to mature – they’ve recently added H225 capability which complements the work they do with the AS332. From a commercial standpoint – they’re an extremely competitive maintenance option for operators. Customers can’t afford not to consider them as an option: a very attractive price point with the backing of a global organization that can ensure work standards.
And finally – why do you enjoy working at Heli-One?
Aerospace is the kind of industry where you get to work with very passionate people, and that is very much the case at Heli-One. We have a very talented and dedicated team of people that work to get things done. The things we do and the people we work with make it a privilege to work for Heli-One.