Boeing is considering accelerating plans to extend its GoldCare maintenance programme for the 787 to other aircraft types within its portfolio.

"It has always been our plan to have GoldCare cover other model airplanes. The initial plan was to do so after the 787 but I think we may decide to advance that decision," says Boeing VP, 787 services and support for the 787 programme, Robert Avery. Boeing will make that call this year.

This change in thinking is "not so much related" to the 787 delay but rather to customer requests. "The common question is: ‘It sounds great for the 787 but can you do this for other types?’" says Avery.

GoldCare is designed to act as a single contact point for customers, delivering material management, engineering and maintenance services at predictable costs. Boeing has already tweaked the programme due to pressure from 787 customers that wanted it broken into smaller modules.

"The main thing is that the basic content of GoldCare is still the same. The difference is we’re more flexible, allowing customers to pick and choose among the services," says Avery.

Customers of the 787 have told Boeing they will make a decision on whether to select GoldCare or alternative maintenance programmes "anywhere from 12 to 18 months prior to first delivery", says Avery.

A consequence of the delay in 787 deliveries is that GoldCare decisions are also being postponed. "I think that, as we get closer and closer to delivery times, you’ll start to see customer take-up."

SR Technics is Boeing’s European maintenance provider for GoldCare. In North America, three US majors American Airlines, Delta Air Lines and United Airlines have all bid to become the maintenance provider, but Boeing has not made a decision.

"Right now, frankly, we’re waiting to see how the merger activity settles out, get through that period and look and see what makes sense," says Avery, noting: "We’re definitely focused on Europe and Asia."