EBACE Convention News

Embraer Doubling Size of Le Bourget MRO Facility

 - May 19, 2015, 8:30 AM
The Embraer business jet fleet is growing throughout Europe, and sales of the new Legacy 450 will accelerate the pace. So the OEM is doubling the size of its maintenance facility at Paris Le Bourget, currently too small to accommodate the Lineage 1000.

With a growing fleet in Europe and Africa, Embraer Executive Jets (Booth Z073) is doubling the size of its Paris Le Bourget maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility and moving it to a more convenient location on the airport. The new facility will serve all Embraer business jet models, including the new fly-by-wire Legacy 500 and 450. Up to 12 jets of various sizes can fit in the new hangar.

“Le Bourget is the largest hub for bizjets in Europe since 2005,” said Waldir Gonçalves, vice president customer support and services, Executive Jets. “It’s important to be there. We need to have adequate [facilities] to accommodate fleet growth, so we need to have good space and infrastructure to accommodate our growth there. We want to continue to offer the best-in-class service experience in our vision, and we will double the current size of our MRO there. Today we don’t have space in the current hangar for the Lineage 1000, and we’ll have this in the new MRO.”

The new facility will open in the second half of next year and replaces the existing Embraer MRO hangar at Le Bourget. The current facility is located completely inside the secure area of Le Bourget, across from the airport’s many FBOs, and thus is somewhat inconvenient, as customers have to go through full security screening in order to access the facility from outside the airport. “It’s very complex to enter,” said Gonçalves. “We are moving to the other side of the runway and you have a street [entrance] and it’s proper for bizjet operations. It will be much easier for us to enter and for customers to access the new hangar.” The new facility is next to the new Airbus Helicopters blade manufacturing plant on the southwest side of Runway 03/21.

In addition to space for new customer offices, the new facility also will accommodate new backshops for more services such as component repair and overhaul. “We want to move to the one-stop-shop concept in the future,” he said, “so we planned the building to increase the business of MRO, not only the ‘M’ [maintenance].”

In Europe, there are 64 light Embraer business jets (Phenom 100s and 300s) and 79 large jets (Legacy 600s and 650s and Lineage 1000s). There are five light and 13 large jets based in Africa. Of the total 867 Embraer business jets in service around the world, 19 percent are based in Europe and Africa. “It is an interesting market, and it’s growing,” said Gonçalves. “The age of the aircraft are of course increasing and they are going out of warranty and need more support.” More than 60 percent of Embraer business jets are covered by the Embraer Executive Care hourly maintenance cost program.

To supplement its European factory service center at Le Bourget, Embraer is opening a seasonal line maintenance station in Nice, which will operate from June 15 through the end of August. “Nice Airport is the third biggest executive jet airport in Europe after Le Bourget and Geneva,” he said. “We felt the need to support [customers] during the summer in Nice.” Much of the work done by the Nice station will be for NetJets, which operates Phenom 300s in Europe, but also for Phenom 100 and Legacy 600/650 customers.

Embraer currently has six factory-owned service centers and 69 authorized service centers around the world. Many of the authorized centers are ready to service the new Legacy 500 and the 450 when it enters service later this year. The first Legacy 500 in China will be delivered this year,” Gonçalves said, and there is an authorized service center in Beijing, “so we are already prepared.” There are 42 Embraer field representatives worldwide. “These people are really important because they are close to the customer and experiencing their lives and knowing their needs and representing Embraer,” he said.

Last year, Embraer opened its newest owned service center in Sorocaba, Brazil, which also features an Embraer FBO. “The FBO and MRO are a huge investment to support Brazil,” he said. “We did have this need because we have a lot of airplanes flying in Brazil.”

Eight global parts distribution centers support the fleet, along with 55 on-site stocking locations to bring parts closer to customers. “Parts availability is over 96 percent,” Gonçalves said. “We are investing a lot because as soon as you know what is the problem, you need to have the parts, so the parts must be there, and very fast.”

To further aid customers who aren’t based near an Embraer facility, the company has deployed mobile response units, three in the U.S. (including a new one at Teterboro Airport), one in Brazil and one in Europe. “We can do line maintenance, AOG rescue, troubleshooting, minor scheduled maintenance, parts changes and service bulletin implementation,” he said. “Sometimes it’s just a matter of a software upload, a new version so we can send our technicians to update a software version.”

Embraer’s customer contact center in São José dos Campos, Brazil, has been open five years. The center now handles more than 10,000 interactions per month and is open 24/7/365. To help customers access Embraer support services, the company offers a free iOS and Android Customer Support and Services Guide app. The optional Aircraft Health Analysis and Diagnosis system is available for all Embraer business jets and can be used to transmit maintenance and usage data directly to Embraer, either via datalink while flying, via Wi-Fi on the ground or by downloading from an SD card.