Interview with Klaus-Peter Leinauer, Vice President Group Commercial (EMEA), HAECO Group

Klaus has been in the aviation industry for more than 20 years, focusing on sales and marketing in the MRO market. He has been based in Canada, France, Germany, Switzerland and the US, working for major MROs. Shortly after joining HAECO Group, Klaus told the e-newsletter editorial team about his journey in the industry.


Q: Please tell us something about yourself that isn’t on your resume.


A: I have been enthusiastic about aviation since I was 14. At that time, I started flying gliders, which I still do today. Following my passion, I studied Aeronautical Engineering at the Technical University of Munich. I love cooking, sports, astronomy, flying and - most importantly - my wife and four daughters.


Q: What are the qualities that you consider most important in an MRO service provider? What impresses you most about HAECO?


A: Regardless of the industry, a company’s ability to listen to its customers and to provide solutions with the agreed quality, price and time, are most important. Moving forward, sustainability is becoming an essential component in every business. I am impressed by the extensive capabilities, the professionalism and positive customer feedback about HAECO. In only a few weeks of being part of the HAECO team, I have already received very positive feedback from various customers including Aerologic, Lufthansa and Corsair.


Q: With the recently established commercial organisation at HAECO, customer relationship management is expected to be brought to a new level. Can you describe a typical example of how customer satisfaction can be enhanced by the change?


A: To answer this excellent question, I will share with you a recent case. In my second week at HAECO, I had a meeting with an existing HAECO Cabin Solutions Germany-based customer, in Frankfurt. During the introductory meeting, we presented HAECO Group’s comprehensive MRO capabilities. HAECO Cabin Solutions was obviously already well known to that customer, as it had decided to purchase our innovative aircraft seat for their new A330neo fleet. However, two days later, my colleague Dennis Kimm and I received an email from the customer saying that the team had very much appreciated our introduction and that they had not been aware of the extensive group capabilities and internationality of HAECO.


The positive comments and feedback we received after this meeting have given us great confidence that we are on precisely the right track with customers, and we shall continue to expand our MRO capabilities moving forward.


Q: What are your major responsibilities in relation to improving customer focus and advocacy for HAECO customers who are based in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA)?


A: The EMEA team will adopt two approaches to improve customer focus in the region. Firstly, we will draw on existing customer relationships and strengthen our cross- and upselling potential in close cooperation with HAECO’s business units. The Group Commercial team will own the regional strategy, and make sure that as a group we keep an eye on synergies and take a holistic market and customer approach in the region. We will communicate the benefits of HAECO products and services to customers - why not offer a radome or nacelle service, if we’re talking to a customer regarding line, base maintenance or engines?


Secondly, the EMEA team will further develop strategies for market penetration to increase sales and grow our business. HAECO is currently working on a market strategy which is very much supported by the business units. The EMEA team has been formed to steer existing business units in the implementation of this vision.


Q: What have you enjoyed most about joining HAECO?


A: I have received a very warm welcome from each colleague I have interacted with. This is very encouraging as we can only be successful as a team. I have recognised a high level of motivation and business acumen in every business unit - whether I was speaking to the HAECO Cabin Solutions team in Greensboro or Hamburg, or the base maintenance team in Hong Kong or Xiamen.


Q: Please share with us how you think a person can best contribute to the success of a company he/she works for.


A: I am a very open-minded and positive person. We are all industry professionals and therefore understand that there is no aerodynamic lift unless there is some friction. This physical metaphor means a lot to me, because I am convinced that communication, feedback, trust, and constructive criticism are the basis for successful collaboration. Only when there are different views, opinions, standpoints, approaches and ideas, will we find the right solutions for customers. As a company, if we can manage this kind of diversity in an agile and lean way, we will be stronger than most of our competitors. For that reason, I worked for and achieved Six Sigma Green Belt certification and became a Lean Master and Agile Leader (Scrum Master & Product Owner). I admire people who continuously learn and broaden their personal horizons, regardless of whether in their private or professional life.