Regional Service Centers

One OEM's approach to global aircraft maintenance support

On Feb. 8, 2012, the Aeronautical Repair Station Association (ARSA) gave a collective cheer. After years of delays and many short-term extensions, the House and Senate have approved the FAA Modernization & Reform Act (H.R. 658). At last American MRO companies feel that they should be able to compete head on with other international companies for the growing global aircraft maintenance and service business.

International competition, in-sourcing, outsourcing, and protecting American jobs are hot political topics. Whatever your position, most can agree that the global aviation industry is interconnected and very competitive. Entrepreneurs and business owners will always follow the money and aircraft sales of and service for commercial passenger and business aircraft in the Asia-Pacific markets are strong and growing.

Bombardier is one of the international companies that has been developing facilities and competing for aviation services business in Asia-Pacific and other global markets. As in any game or business it is always a good strategy to know where new opportunities lie and the strengths of your competition, especially the leaders.

OEM-owned regional service “hubs”

The economies of China, India, and Brazil are growing nicely and the United States is rebounding, albeit slowly. Eric Martel, president, Bombardier Customer Services & Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft, predicts that by “2030, there could be more than 1,100 business jets in service in the Asia-Pacific region and we expect a large share of their owners and operators will be Bombardier customers. We are ready and committed to supporting our existing and future customers in the Asia-Pacific region by ensuring they have access to the full range of support and services in their own time zone and in their own region. It is a reflection of our commitment to current and future operators that no matter where they fly, they will have our service.”

On Feb. 15, “Bombardier Aerospace announced that it will open a full-scale company-owned and operated service center in Singapore in 2013. The new facility will be its second fully owned and operated service center outside of North America, bringing the total number to 10 worldwide. It will be capable of performing a variety of light to heavy maintenance tasks on all Bombardier Learjet, Challenger, and Global aircraft.”

The Singapore Regional Support Office (RSO), opened in late 2011, will work in conjunction with the new service center location as well as the company’s current Singapore parts depot. Together with other facilities based in the Asia-Pacific region, this will create a full-service customer support hub in the region to complement existing regional networks in North America and Europe.

Bombardier is developing and operating three of these global hubs. They are organized by geographical zones, Zone One Hub serves North and South America customers; Zone Two Hub is anchored in Amsterdam at Schiphol Airport and, with the support of regional support offices (RSOs) and parts depots including Frankfurt, serves Europe, Middle East, and African customers; Zone Three Hub is being developed to serve Asia-Pacific and the RSOs and parts depots currently in the region will be anchored by a maintenance facility in Singapore, that will be operational in 2013.

When asked about the philosophy behind this regional “hub” approach, President Martel says, “Our business philosophy for international service is simple. We want to provide the best service that we can for our customers — where they are and when they need it. In 2001, the installed Bombardier fleet was about 2,500 business jets and about 80 percent of those were North American customers. Today we have more than 4,000 business jets in-service around the world — approximately 60 percent are North American customers, 40 percent are at international locations. Our international customer base is growing and we will be building service hubs to support them.

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