Bombardier is stepping up product support for its business jets, expanding its service network, increasing the spares inventory and cutting delivery time for aircraft-on-ground (AOG) parts.
The manufacturer plans to increase the capacity of its company-owned service centres in the USA by 10-15% this year, on top of a 17% rise in the second half of last year with the addition of a heavy maintenance capability in Clarksville, West Virginia, and line maintenance facilities in Addison, Texas and Teterboro, New Jersey.
Internationally, a company-owned centre will open in Dubai in the second quarter. Bombardier is also expanding the network of independent service centres authorised to maintain its Learjet, Challenger and Global business jets, adding one in the USA and two internationally.
More spares are being made available through increased inventory and improved forecasting. An adjusted parts mix based on demand simulation will ensure critical high-use parts are stocked in sufficient quantities. The net change in inventory mix exceeds $67 million, Bombardier says. Fill rate, a measure of parts availability, has been increased from a low of 71% for the Global to 95%.
In an alliance with Caterpillar, two new "super warehouses" are being built to support Bombardier's business and regional aircraft. The Chicago facility will be operational in the second quarter, followed in the third quarter by a warehouse in Frankfurt, Germany. Parts depots will open in Dubai, Singapore and Sydney by mid-year, and locations in South America are under review.
Meanwhile, a high-priority delivery programme launched late last year is getting AOG parts to North American operators in less than 12h from order receipt. International deliveries begin this month.
GRAHAM WARWICK/WASHINGTON DC
Source: Flight International