After a period that has seen rapid growth of its fleet in the Middle East, Bombardier Aerospace is emphasizing at the Dubai Air Show this week the support that its Business Aircraft division is providing for local owners and operators of Global, Challenger and Learjet aircraft. “Our focus will clearly be our business aircraft portfolio, which has been extremely successful in this area,” said Eric Martel, appointed in August as president of Bombardier Customer Services and Specialized and Amphibious Aircraft. Bombardier’s Middle East business jet fleet now totals 73 aircraft, including 47 Challengers, 13 Globals and 13 Learjets.
Martel said that just over a year ago Bombardier opened a regional support office in Dubai, and now that office is home to a customer-support liaison pilot, a customer-support account manager, two field service representatives and a regional support office manager. In addition, it has a parts depot in Dubai, and further in the region, earlier this year established two authorized service facilities (ASFs)–one in Turkey and another in Jordan. “We’ve been quite busy in the last couple of years making sure that this area is going to be well covered,” he said.
The nearest Bombardier factory-owned service center is the Amsterdam facility, which opened a year-and-a-half ago. That facility has received temporary repair center certification from civil aviation authorities in the United Arab Emirates, and expects to be granted permanent authorization by the end of December. This will allow Amsterdam to offer maintenance services on UAE-registered aircraft. “We’re pleased with that,” he said, “because there’s a lot of traffic between Europe and the UAE and our Amsterdam facility is well positioned to be able to work on those airplanes.”
Bombardier’s international strategy revolves around three hubs: North America, Asia and Europe/Middle East. This plan allows customers and Bombardier technical personnel to get help in their own time zone, no matter where they are located. It includes field representatives and parts depots, as well as ASFs and training facilities. Bombardier and CAE have added two new simulators, one each in Amsterdam and Dubai.
Another recent move in the Middle East market is addition of Bombardier’s Parts Express service, which employs local charter operators to deliver critical parts on short notice. “If we have an AOG [aircraft on ground] and we need immediate service to support our customer, we’re going to fly in an airplane with the part,” said Martel. “We’ve flown [more than] 60 of those flights this year and we’ve extended it to the Middle East earlier this year.”
Projections call for 1,200 new business aircraft to join the Middle East fleet during the coming 20 years. “We’re well positioned to capture a fair share of that,” he said. “That’s why it is key for us to partner with the right people, the right ASFs, to have a parts depot that we’re going to definitely grow.”o