Fokker hails deal with Bombardier as a new milestone

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Fokker Services is hailing its tie-up with Bombardier as a new milestone that strengthens the Dutch company's overall business, while the tie-up also significantly strengthens Bombardier's business in Asia.

"This memorandum of understanding that has been signed with Bombardier represents a new milestone for Fokker Services because it is a further step towards strengthening our diversification towards other aircraft," says Fokker Services VP marketing and sales, Erik Goedhart.

Fokker Services has been looking to grow its business beyond Fokker aircraft, by supporting other out-of-production aircraft.

Bombardier announced yesterday it has signed a memorandum of understanding with Fokker Services and plans to sign a firm contract later this year.

The deal involves having Fokker Services provide spare parts logistics support, through its Abacus system, for Bombardier Dash 8 and Q-series turboprop aircraft with the exception of the Bombardier Q400, says Bombardier.

Fokker Services will also repair serviceable components and ensure parts availability on a cost-by-the-hour basis, it adds.

Goedhart declines to comment on whether Fokker Services hopes to support Q400s as well. "Our focus is post production [aircraft] so it is the Q100/200/300," he says. Bombardier no longer manufactures the Q100/200/300, whereas the Q400 is still in production and competes for new aircraft sales against French-Italian aircraft-maker ATR.

Goedhart says: "This collaboration [with Bombardier] strengthens our expansion of logistical services for regional aircraft."

"In addition, all competencies that Fokker Services has built over the years supporting out-of-production [Fokker] aircraft will be applied towards this partnership."

"For Fokker operators, this means that Fokker Services will get more critical mass in support towards them, for continued competitive operation," he adds.

Goedhart says six Bombardier operators have already signed up for Fokker Services' programme and these are: US regional operator Mesa Air Group, Air Iceland, Canadian North, South Africa's SA Express, Greece's Olympic Air and one other undisclosed operator.

For Bombardier, the deal strengthens its business in Asia.

Fokker Services has a maintenance, repair and overhaul centre in Singapore to service the region as well as a team of customer support personnel.

Bombardier Dash 8 and Q100/200/300 operators in the region include: Airlines PNG, Bangladesh's United Airways, Philippine Airlines' PAL Express, Taiwan's Uni Air, Indonesia's Wings Air and New Zealand's Vincent Aviation.

Yesterday's announcement also comes after Bombardier Commercial Aircraft president Gary Scott told ATI that the Canadian aircraft-maker plans to station more commercial aircraft sales people in Asia starting later this year or next year. Bombardier already has commercial aircraft sales people in China but commercial aircraft sales for the rest of Asia is generally handled out of Canada.

"We are living in a global economy and it is hard to manage everything out of Toronto or Montreal," said Scott then.