Rockwell Collins is standing by the conservative business aviation market outlook it took at the beginning of the year, according to company president and CEO Kelly Ortberg. “We have seen about what we’ve expected in business aviation,” he told AIN during a recent media event at the company’s Winston-Salem, North Carolina seat-manufacturing facility. “We saw a lot of rate decreases last year. I haven't seen further rate reductions, and I haven’t seen upticks.”
Ortberg remains hopeful that business aviation will bottom out sometime next year. In the meantime, Rockwell Collins has begun to explore synergies between its legacy operation and its new interiors systems business, the former B/E Aerospace.
One example came during a recent discussion with a dealer about an upgrade package for a legacy business jet, Ortberg said. The discussions focused on the flight deck, but when Rockwell Collins shared possible additions from its interiors business, the conversation changed. “The dealer had no idea that there is another set of certified seats and other interior products we can add to that package,” he explained. “The package went from a flight-deck upgrade to an aircraft upgrade. The dealer is ecstatic about the business opportunities.”
Connecting the B/E Aerospace business, which did not have dealers, with Rockwell Collins’s 300-strong dealer network is one of several near-term business aviation opportunities that the new, larger company is pursuing.