A new Q400 component repair and exchange programme is being introduced by Bombardier as part of a broader initiative to expand its maintenance offerings in the commercial sector.
The programme, marketed under Bombardier's "Smart Services" brand, offers a cost-per-flight-hour aftermarket solution with three key offerings - component repair for unscheduled maintenance whereby operators send in their part and Bombardier takes care of its repair and return delivery access to an exchange pool of rotables and a satellite pool at an operator's home base.
A basic package covers 291 components, including major line replacement units and components with values over $10,000.
"We are in the process of deploying with a couple of customers," says Mike Kanaley, vice-president and general manager of fleet management and service programmes for Bombardier's services division. Each undisclosed customer has requested different levels of support within the programme.
Bombardier offers a menu of services under the Smart Services moniker for the business aviation community, including a "Smart Parts" solution that supports more than 900 business aircraft. "Eighty per cent of our customer base in business aircraft participate in Smart Parts," says Kanaley.
The company plans to leverage its experience of more than 20 years in this cost-by-the-hour programme to grow the Q400 component repair business. It believes it is best positioned to support Q400 component needs because it has "best knowledge of the aircraft as the ultimate system integrator" and holds around $400 million of regional aircraft inventory, including about $80 million for the Q400 fleet.
Additionally, Bombardier offers a global distribution network with "strategically located warehouses and depots" and has a dedicated material solutions and logistics infrastructure including a customer response centre, it notes.
The Q400 component repair programme is "not a significant contributor yet in terms of revenue" since Bombardier is "just now entering the marketplace", says Kanaley, "but obviously it's meant to enhance sales and serviced work we do on the Q400 now."