Jet Aviation marked its 50th anniversary with a gala event here last night. “We will celebrate the past while focusing on the future,” said Group CEO Rob Smith.

Gone is the famous deer-head logo at Jet Aviation, which is taking the opportunity of its 50th anniversary to reconstitute itself for the years ahead. A rebranding with a new logo that simply states “JET” symbolizes the firms’ strategy to more align itself as one Jet with its customers, with best-in-class practices applied consistently through all its business and across 25 locations worldwide.

Customer feedback had suggested that some facilities were preferred to others. They should all be the same high quality, says Smith.

Achieving that will likely be a three-year journey, with the first year focusing on aligning computer systems with customers and employees alike. Once completed, the processes will enable new businesses, such as FBOs, to be brought into the fold more easily as Jet Aviation executes a strategy of continuing to expand where customers indicate there is a need.

Growth will be organic and from outside, including through partnerships, says Smith, who adds it will not be everywhere but where it is most demanded. For example, Jet Aviation earlier this year opened a major FBO in Washington, D.C., and will open its latest FBO next month in Dubai South. It has rebranded the Pazos FBO in Puerto Rico, and is expanding its hangarage in Singapore, where it has won recent approvals from the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) for the Airbus Corporate Jet (ACJ) series, the Boeing Business Jet (BBJ) series and Gulfstream G650 and G650ER aircraft. It has also added the G650 and 650ER in Malaysia.

In Basel the company’s two original hangars have been fully demolished and the new foundation is now underway for an 8,700 sq-meter, wide-body hangar that is scheduled to go operational at the end 2018.

It’s all light years away from the maintenance hangar that Jet Aviation founder Carl Hirschmann first rented in Basel in 1967. The family ran and expanded the business until selling to the Permira private equity fund in 2005, which grew the business further and sold it to General Dynamics three years later. The U.S. aerospace and defense company also owns Gulfstream Aerospace, manufacturer of Gulfstream business jets.

Ownership by General Dynamics has brought a corporate culture to Jet Aviation, says Smith, and the parent company has been 100% supportive through the occasional challenges that any business aviation company encounters.

“Jet Aviation had grown up as a family-owned company,” he says. “Some of that atmosphere has changed; we’re now very process driven, but we still want customers to feel our warmth and heartbeat.”