Currently TCR’s U.S. operations are based in Houston as part of their collaboration with Menzies Aviation. The partnership began in late 2009. Describing the current arrangement, Janisse says, “Menzies is actually located in a warehouse that is immediately off the airport. What we did is sublet their shop area and some office space from them.” He goes on explain that, following the European model, they have assumed control of all maintenance services, parts storage and inventory.
At present, the Houston operation is TCR’s sole U.S. operation. “We’ve got five mechanics now, an office manager, and a couple of management personnel, including our VP of operations, who spend most of their time down there,” he says. This operation supports a fleet of 74 motorized GSE and 338 non-motorized GSE — 412 pieces in total.
According to Janisse, the company is looking at other locations of growth. “We’re looking to expand at Houston airport, and were looking at other airports across the United States,” he says.
The ideal market for a service like this is variable. “Our target market is an airport operation that has 200-plus pieces of equipment,” he says. “If you get into smaller operations, you’ve got to spread the monthly rental fee that includes the overhead for the shop and the people over fewer pieces of equipment.”
In its European operation, TCR has contracted with airlines directly to provide operational leasing, and the opportunity is being pursued in the U.S. as well. Janisse says the company sees opportunity in “outlying cities that the airlines fly to where they’ve got a couple hundred pieces of ground equipment and a shop.”
As for short-term goals, TCR is exploring other opportunities to grow their business in the U.S. According to Janisse, several areas that show promise are fleet conversions for
compliance, expansion with current European customers, and contracted maintenance and repair with companies where the leasing model doesn’t work. In addition, TCR plans to establish a U.S headquarters within the year, which will facilitate — as it hopes — the larger staff needed as contracts are finalized and the U.S. operation grows.
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