Exhibitor Interview: PT21 Solutions

Exhibitor Interview: PT21 Solutions

Pt21 Solutions is an EASA-approved design Company that specialises in the design, repair, maintenance and modification of aircraft. They provide clients with services beyond the normal MRO needs.

As part of our exhibitor interviews series, AIX sat down with PT21 Solutions’ CEO, Oladi Olukolu to discuss how the company is rolling out modular products to help airlines generate ancillary revenue.

oladi from PT21 black and white background

About Oladi Olukolu

My name is Oladi Olukolu. The company is PT21 Solutions and we do design solution certification for the entire aviation industry. So be it VIP or private aircraft to commercial aircrafts, we do all of that. We do major repairs plus everything from Minor changes to Major modifications.  

My background has always been aviation engineering. I loved it so much I did several hours on old military training aircraft doing flight acrobatics, just for fun.

I have had experience in multiple ground and flight tests of aircraft systems to substantiate new designs. I was always trying to understand what actually puts the aircraft up there from an early age. It’s always been aviation for me; it’s always been technology for me – I just love it.

And our main products would always be about putting the aircraft up in the air; minimising the downtime.”

“So, there is no better place for you to be exhibiting any new products or services when it comes to aircraft interiors, than doing it at AIX.”

Oladi Olukolu, CEO, PT21 Solutions

About PT21

“We’re based out of Paris, but we do have a satellite office in Saint Louis in France, also. We’re an international company, we have our guys – our engineers – working from Serbia, in Belgrade; they work out of the UK, out of Germany, so we’re cut across the globe and it’s an international company.

Now, we do major repairs on aircraft. This includes repairs that are beyond the structural repair manual of the aircraft. So rather than going back to the OEM, we are able to take on that and do make those repairs.

So, we’ve done repairs on rotorcrafts, we’ve done them on fixed wings. We also do LOPA changes for cabin reconfiguration, helping aircraft lessors to transition aircraft from one airline to the other.

Something else we do is that we help consult with private aircraft acquisitions. So, when we do some of the recertification work or activities to get them into EASA standards – if they’re importing that aircraft from a non-EASA state. Those are some of the main activities that we actually embark on at PT21.”

What will you be showcasing at AIX 2023?

At AIX 2023 we’re looking to showcase 2 main products. The first one – we’re turning some of our services into modular products because we have some really smart design galley modifications for narrow body aircraft. This is for where older airlines didn’t have ovens, didn’t have water boilers on there.

But the new trend is that these operators – whether it’s a low cost operator or Legacy operator – they all want to have ovens in there.

We’ve actually done quite a few successfully. Now, we want to roll it out as a modular product so that the lessors and the airlines can just take that off the shelf from us and we have a much shorter lead time on that. So that’s something we want to launch at AIX this year.

And the second one is something that we’re still, you know, contemplating on. It’s a product – and we call it CABANNER. This is new tech to be used in a cabin for short haul flights.

It also helps airlines to gear towards carbon neutrality, and it also allows them to generate ancillary revenue. So that’s something that we will try to showcase. It’s going to be a big surprise!

“But coming into AIX, a lot of people, a lot of airlines, a lot customers, even suppliers and even service providers like ourselves or products suppliers like ourselves – are all relaxed (work away from work).”

Oladi Olukolu, CEO, PT21 Solution

“So, fingers crossed that we’re going to show that in 2023, but even if we’re not showcasing in 2023, you can be sure that will be coming in shortly after AIX. So you can always reach out to us or let’s have a chat on that!”

What innovations or trends are you anticipating in the aviation and interiors industry this year?

“What we noticed the last year, in say 2022, was that there was – like everyone anticipated anyway – a lot of movements in the narrow body aircraft (we’re talking about the A320s and the 737s). And with some of the big delays with the delivery of newer aircrafts from the big OEMs, it means that the airlines are having to take some of the older fleets and keep them longer. But then they still want them modified.

And so, the trend here is that they’re going, of course into high density. This number 1. Number 2 is that they’re now all putting in some sort of equipment to help them generate ancillary revenue. Now you see, typically, that the low-cost carriers sometimes wouldn’t even have ovens on body aircraft, which is what I mentioned before.

But now they want to be able to sell warm food because not everyone wants a cold sandwich. To do that, you need to have ovens onboard. So that is now a requirement that you have to modify the galleys without necessarily buying new galleys.

“Our main products would always be about putting the aircraft up in the air; minimizing the downtime.”

Oladi Olukolu, CEO, PT21 Solutions

And there’s a quite a lot to do: with avionics, electrical systems, the waterway system and the galley. And then of course, the procurement of the galleys and of course, the bottlenecks where you’ve got more than 5-6 airlines all trying to do the same modification at the same time. So that’s the trend now.

It’s also opening up the market for new OEMs, when it comes to galley equipment, so that’s what we’re seeing.

Now, another trend will be that airlines are all also looking for some sort of smart technology that helps them to save fuel. And that’s basically by cutting down the weight that they’re carrying on board the aircraft – so it means that they want lighter seats.

They want the seats to be lighter without necessarily having to spend much money. And that’s what we are also looking to introduce in 2023. That’s the second product I talked about, which is a product called CABANNER.”

“The industry is struggling to recover right now – I think we might be able to provide alternative solutions to alleviate these struggles.”

Oladi Olukolu, CEO, PT21 Solutions

Why is exhibiting at AIX important for you and your company?

“It is important for us to exhibit at AIX because everyone all year round is just looking for the biggest aircraft interior expo around the world. So, you have the marketing team from the airlines, the product teams from the airlines; everyone’s just looking forward to that day to go out there.

So, if you’re not showcasing to them when they’re all there at the same time, you’re going to be spending a lot more money trying to go out and talk to all of them, telling them this is what I have‘.

And, again, they are right there and they’re in the mood – they want to see those things. So it’s relevant right there. But if you’re calling or emailing people, they might not be in that mood – they may be focused on something else; going on with their day-to-day life.

But coming into AIX, a lot of people, a lot of airlines, a lot customers, even suppliers and even service providers like ourselves or products suppliers like ourselves – are all relaxed (work away from work). They’re in the mood to actually soak up new information.

So, there is no better place for you to be exhibiting any new products or services when it comes to aircraft interiors, than doing it at AIX, especially the one in Hamburg.”

Have you had notable experiences at AIX and why are you coming back?

“One of my best experiences at AIX was about 2017 or so. We came up with a new product back then. It was a really very bespoke product and we had probably the biggest customer in the world when it comes to aircraft – they’ve got probably the biggest fleet in the world, and they were looking to do some modifications on a really big bird. 

I’m trying not to say too much here, but the people that know it would know it. And so, we’d been working on this and it was at AIX that we actually sat down with a big lessor, we sat with the airline that was going to use the aircraft and that was it.

We discussed it in a more relaxed atmosphere. We shook hands on it. The deal was struck there and bang – several aircraft after, it’s still the only solution out there for that kind of modification.

Every time I think AIX, I always think back to that moment that was actually a good thing. So I’ll say thanks to everyone that made that happen and I hope more of those things happen.”

Would you recommend AIX to other companies?

“Yeah, I would recommend it to other companies. They say in business – collaboration takes your further – it keeps you longer in the business. When you do it alone, well, you might get a lot of money. You might make a lot of business, but how long is that going to be for? I don’t know.

I’m not saying that it always works like that. I just believe that collaboration makes it better and, say, if I can bring in collaborators – if I can encourage them to come over to AIX then I think we might be able to provide alternative solutions that industry needs.

The industry is struggling to recover right now, so I think it’s a big enough space for everyone to come in and to provide services and products.”

Aircraft Interiors Expo (AIX) is the world’s leading cabin interiors event where airlines and the supply chain to meet and has been for over 20 years. AIX plays host to the latest innovations, technologies and products for the cabin interiors, inflight entertainment and passenger comfort industries.

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