NBAA Convention News

Rolls-Royce Continues to Improve Top-End Service

 - October 8, 2017, 4:59 PM

Rolls-Royce (Booth C8137) is working hard to further enhance its CorporateCare fixed-cost engine maintenance management offering around the globe as it focuses on maintaining its position as the engine supplier of choice for top-end business jets such as the Gulfstream G650 and Bombardier Global family. Both are powered by variants of its BR700 family engine, while Rolls' AE3007 engine powers both the Embraer Legacy 600/650 and Cessna Citation X.

“In terms of CorporateCare, it’s been a good year since the last NBAA show [in Orlando]. We’re now up to 2,000 aircraft on the program, so we’re very pleased with progress,” Scott Shannon, executive v-p customer business and services for Rolls-Royce Civil Small & Medium Engines, told AIN. He added that Rolls has had “good success [also] where customers have elected not to join the program and there was a transfer,” so the new owner signed up. Overall, the sign-up rate is around 70 percent and retention rate, according to Shannon, is up around 99 percent.

“Owners and their advisers are realizing that they will sell their aircraft in around half the time with CorporateCare, so there is a liquidity benefit,” he said, adding, it helps make transfers as seamless as possible.

Shannon explained that Rolls-Royce is currently looking at enhancing the program, widening the scope of service, “so we will see an expansion over the next year.” This follows a number of sessions with customer focus groups, he said.

The company’s authorized service center network is up to 74 locations, “and we’re constantly expanding that,” Shannon said. The two most recent additions are ExecuJet Aviation Group at Melbourne and Perth in Australia, for servicing BR710 engines. ExecuJet's Sydney facility will be upgraded to a service hub.

It also has a focus on digital tools, “investing a lot,” and to this end, the company is launching a Business Aviation Availability app—called AOG Alert—this week at NBAA 2017. This will give customers the ability to look at the status of a job remotely, and also as an issue arises, the operator (or pilots) can quickly identify the nearest service center to their location. They can also send media such as pictures and video to help rapid diagnosis by engineers back at Rolls-Royce’s Customer Operations Center at Dahlewitz, south of Berlin.

Having tested the new service with a couple of maintenance facilities, Shannon said the company is poised to formally roll it out on December 1. He hopes it will mirror the success of the service center tool that already is in use by around 850 customers and 1,000 aircraft. “That’s been a real home run for us.”

Another upcoming advance through 2018 is to enable automatic engine health monitoring downloads for “some of the older aircraft models to give us a rich population of data.” Shannon said that reliability statistics are improving and the rate for averted missed trips is greater than 98 percent. But, he admitted, “We have to continually work on this as more of the fleet is outside the U.S. and Europe.”