As it transforms its spares supply business into a newly-branded operation - dubbed Free2Fly - SAS Component is intent on signing up partners to expand the concept into a global network of suppliers. The company, which is using Paris to launch Free2Fly, is already talking to potential partners among airlines and independent maintenance shops, said Claus Mortensen, manager administration and business support. It is hoped to bring others on board this year. The aim is to create a much larger one-stop shop for spares management. SAS Component¹s material supply programme, which includes access to the SAS stock of rotables, is based on exchanging parts rather than the traditional method of replace and repair. It has offered this type of service for some years, but has not given it a name or sold it formally. "The overall aim is securing a carefree and economical material supply function," says Per Boll, managing director. "Today¹s operators are thinking in component availability, not turnaround time. That is why we have shifted our focus to a component management and logistics thinking," he says. Its second priority is component reconditioning.


Air Jamaica is effectively the first jet operator to enter Free2Fly as it is now, although several Fokker 50 turboprop airlines, and Boeing 767 operators LOT Polish Airlines, Martinair and Spanair use a similar service. The implementation of Free2Fly throughout SAS Component's internal systems will take until the end of 2001. Initially the aircraft covered by Free2Fly are the Boeing 737 Next Generation and 767, DC-9, MD-80, Airbus A320, A330 and A340, and Fokker 50, all of which are operated by parent SAS. Around 50% of its activities are performed for third parties.

Source: Flight Daily News