Offering support for new aircraft is always crucial to keeping customers in the family, and Grob addressed the issue at EBACE this morning with the announcement of its maintenance plans for the spN light jet, ahead of the first delivery.

Niall Olver, chief executive of the German manufacturer, says Grob was able to announce the plan ahead of schedule because he believes the all-composite spN will be cheaper to operate than an all-metal aircraft. “Most manufacturers will not offer a maintenance programme like this until they’ve discovered failure rates and the aircraft has been in operation,” he says.

“We know that cost assurance plans like ours add resale value to the aircraft because the potential buyer knows that the aircraft has been properly maintained.” The programme on offer comes in three flavours: Basic, Advanced and Premium.

Basic covers the airframe and avionics parts, including consumables as well as worldwide shipping of the parts. This level also includes technical publication updates.
NaillAdvanced includes Basic and adds labour costs for both scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, component exchange and maintenance and spare part for the cabin interior. Premium adds engine maintenance coverage through Williams’ Total Assurance Program for FJ44 operators.

In addition to its cost-assurance programme for maintenance, Grob has also partnered with FedEx to offer a fast delivery service. This means that parts for the spN will be stored at FedEx warehouses where FedEx can respond immediately to shipping requests from Grob. Initially, spares will be held at FedEx’s Memphis hub, with plans to include other locations in the future.

“We know the importance of being able to source and deliver parts across North America. Top of our list with the spN programme is that as it enters service we can support it,” Olver says.

The company also said it is starting work on a new facility on the Swiss-side of Lake Constance at St. Gallen-Altenrhein airport. The new facility is earmarked to open in the second quarter of 2009 and initially create 100 jobs. It becomes the European completions centre as well as training centre for the light jet.


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Source: Flight Daily News