Pratt & Whitney Canada is evaluating options for expanding its customer support network in the Asia-Pacific region in response to a rapidly growing operator base for its engines. The manufacturer already has about 1,500 customers and 6,000 engines in this part of the world and this fleet base is still seeing double-digit growth at a time when utilization rates have been flat or falling in other regions more seriously impacted by the economic downturn.
The P&WC support network already includes facilities here in Singapore, Australia, China and Japan. The company has been increasing the number of engine parts it has available throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
Customer service vice president Maria Della Posta told AIN that P&WC has increased the capacity of its Customer First Center by 30 percent to be able to meet increased demand. The facility has support specialists available around the clock to make all the necessary arrangements to get an engine back in service within 24 hours.
“It is especially important in a down cycle to stay close to customers,” Della Posta said. “We are taking a more proactive approach and are now handling scheduled maintenance as well through the Customer First Center. We have made adjustments to our pricing structure [for support services] to help customers to get through these challenging times.”
With airlines continuing to feel the squeeze on yield, they are even more eager to control operating costs. P&WC has been stepping up the use of engine health monitoring and diagnostics to be able to exercise a higher degree of control over the task of keeping engines in service.
In the business aviation and helicopter markets, the company last year added the new Flex option for the Eagle Service Plan.
This allows operators to defer payment for the majority of hours flown right up until just before a scheduled engine overhaul.
Pratt & Whitney (Stand L39) is set to further expand its customer base having now secured three new airline applications for its new PW1000G geared turbofan. The most recent breakthrough was the selection of the engine for Russia’s MC-21 150- to 210-seat airliner family in December. The new technology has also been selected for Japan’s Mitsubishi Regional Jet and for Bombardier’s C Series family.
The new engine’s geared system promises “significant” weight and fuel burn improvements, according to the manufacturer. Full testing for the new powerplant is due to begin around the middle of this year.