In October 2006, the Embraer board of directors authorized expenditure of $100 million on customer support. At the same time, the Brazilian manufacturer announced an expansion of its Executive Jets authorized service network in the U.S. and Europe and said that by mid-2008 its customer support network would comprise seven wholly owned and 38 authorized service centers in all regions of the world.
As of this week, four Embraer-owned customer service centers are up and running at Paris Le Bourget, Gavião Peixoto in Brazil, Alverca in Portugal (run by Embraer’s Ogma subsidiary) and in Nashville, Tennessee. Three other factory-owned centers are under construction and expected to open this summer at Mesa, Arizona; Hartford, Connecticut; and Fort Lauderdale, Florida.
The 37,674-sq-ft center at Le Bourget is the most recent addition and received EASA Part 145 approval in March. Like the other Embraer-owned service centers (with the exception of Nashville), it is dedicated exclusively to the company’s business jet fleet.
As for the authorized service centers, the number has grown from 23 in October 2006 to 38 today. Abroad, they include ABS Jets in Prague; Inflite at Stansted, England; and three Ruag facilities at Lugano and Zurich, Switzerland; and Munich, Germany.
Most recently, Embraer participated in Aviation Week’s MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) Conference and Exhibition in April. It introduced its Embraer Services brand there and had available for a first-time demonstration the new Flyembraer customer relationship portal.
The company developed the Web site, according to Embraer, “to provide value-added, after-sales services and customer support for aircraft maintenance, material support, flight operations and training.” It will offer, through the Internet, online data concerning aircraft maintenance and engineering activities, as well as streamline the customer parts procurement process, flight operation information and software, and comprehensive packages of technical training courses. The ultimate goal, said an Embraer spokeswoman, is to “boost clients’ productivity, safety and profitability.”
“In 2008, the greatest growth area for Embraer is in customer support,” said Luis Carlos Affonso, executive vice president of Embraer Executive Jets. While Embraer aircraft service is a profit center, he added, the company considers customer support to be “a satisfaction center.”