Patria takes care of the helicopter maintenance needs of the Finnish, Swedish and Norwegian Defence Forces.

Text: Päivi Brink

Photos: Matti Immonen

As a part of Patria’s Aviation business unit, Patria Helicopters AB, which has locations in Sweden and Norway, has a major role in this business. It has diverse private and public sector clients mainly in Northern Europe, with a focus on expansion around the world. Whether the customer is big or small, and wherever they are in the world, they will get the service they need. “Patria Helicopters is going through major changes now and in the coming years. We want to respond to the demands of our customers even better than today. We’re currently conducting a major customer survey, as we do minor ones after every delivery. The market is increasingly demanding better customer service, timely and reliable deliveries, customized service solutions and customer web solutions. We want to exceed the expectations of our customers,” Director of Sales and Marketing Magnus Odenman says. The history of Patria’s helicopter operations in Arlanda dates back to 1943 and today it is a dynamic company determined to meet the current needs of its customers. The maintenance hub is located in Arlanda, Sweden. Patria also has helicopter operations in Finland and Norway and employs 250 highly skilled professionals within helicopter business unit. The offering covers a wide range of services from thorough overhaul to spare part delivery. “Our customers need their helicopters ready to be used as soon as possible. They should be able to focus on flying, and we should maximize the availability of the helicopter. The customer should be able to trust our delivery time and also have accurate information during the whole service procedure. Though we have very high customer satisfaction figures, there is always room for improvement and development.”

Quality standards and strict requirements set by the authorities create the regulatory framework for helicopter maintenance.

New customers – new service packages

Patria is always looking for both public and private professional helicopter customers. The company sales team recently returned from the Helitech Exhibition in London, where they had a company stand and met several existing and potential European and world wide customers. Patria Helicopters AB is an authorized service center for major helicopter manufacturers such as AgustaWestland, Airbus Helicopters, and Bell Helicopter. Quality standards and strict requirements set by the authorities and clients create the regulatory framework for helicopter maintenance. To maintain the status of an authorized service provider, regular auditions are required to ensure compliance with licenses and regulations. “The authorizations enable us to serve big operators and companies that own many helicopters. We’re able to provide technical bulletins and manufacturers’ upgrades when all of their helicopters are called in for an upgrade or repair,” Odenman says. Technical support offers assistance with technical problem solving. For instance, they can contact the helicopter manufacturing facility for advice if approval is needed for a specific repair method. “If necessary, skilled service personnel such as technicians and engineers, can be deployed as a field team to provide assistance in any part of the world. This is an example of a new type of service package provided by the Patria Helicopters’ sales force especially to customers operating on a professional level. Our employees have extensive capabilities and our technicians are certified for most common helicopter models. These are our main strengths,” Odenman says.

Digitalization changing customer service

Customers are increasingly interested in exploring services and spare parts on-line. Patria Helicopters is focusing on improving their website and on-line services. A new implemented telephone switchboard solution will enable the company to offer improved customer response, and if requested, arrange 24/7 technical online service. “We’ll have new webpages up by the end of the year that will serve our worldwide markets, especially for components and spare parts. We’re increasing our on-line marketing as well. It’s important to be able to serve our customers anywhere anytime. Also our new software system, which will be implemented in the near future, will enable improved customer service via the customer portal, for example follow-up of offers and orders, and monitoring progress of components in production,“ Odenman explains.