Bombardier is rapidly progressing on its major expansion of its service facilities and customer support initiatives and has put in place a new team as many of these efforts come to fruition. In a long-term plan that will add about one million sq ft of space and double its available work hours, the Canadian manufacturer plans to bring online over the next year three new facilities in London, Miami, and Melbourne, Australia.
This comes after the recent opening of its Singapore center, which Jean-Christophe Gallagher, executive v-p of services, support, and corporate strategy for Bombardier, said is the “largest business aviation maintenance facility in all of Asia.” Located at Seletar Aerospace Park, Bombardier basically built a 400,000-sq-ft center surrounding the original center that it had added in 2014. “We’re now fully authorized to perform maintenance” at the new facility, Gallagher said.
In addition, in January Bombardier (Booth 901, Static A709) announced it had completed the acquisition of the outstanding shares it didn’t already own of Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services from Lufthansa Technik and ExecuJet Aviation Group, bringing fully online a service center at Berlin Brandenburg Airport that has 160,000 sq feet and employs 250. The center was a strategic acquisition in Bombardier’s quest to “bring our airplanes back home” because Germany represents “one of the highest densities of Bombardier aircraft in Europe,” he added.
The London Biggin Hill facility is the next to come online, early next year. Bombardier landed at the site in 2017 but quickly outgrew it and has had two expansions since. This next expansion “is by far the largest we’re going to be making,” Gallagher said, saying the 300,000-sq-ft facility is “almost ready.”
Next up will be Bombardier’s new $100 million, 300,000-sq-ft center at Miami-Opa Locka Executive Airport that he expects to be complete in the first half of 2022.
Following that also in 2022 is a 50,000-sq-ft service center at Essendon Fields Airport in Melbourne, Australia. Bombardier has almost 100 aircraft in the country he added.
In tandem with this Bombardier is looking to hire 400 technicians, 200 in the U.S. and 200 in the rest of the world. Gallagher also noted that Bombardier continues to evaluate locations for growth and said further announcements may be forthcoming.
“A lot of investments are coming now,” he said of the ongoing projects. “We’re not just investing in bricks and mortar right now,” noting that Bombardier is also putting resources into digital capabilities, among other areas.
This includes an ambitious program to offer free Smart Link Plus health monitoring boxes for its entire Challenger and Global fleet with subscription-based services under a partnership with GE Aviation. Already aboard the Global 7500, Gallagher noted that nearly all of its customers are participating. The Smart Link box has been approved for retrofit aboard the Challenger 300 and 350 thus far and Bombardier recently rolled out the myMaintenance App to facilitate access to that engine data.
In addition, it has created a Certified Preowned aircraft program that will offer customers “meticulously selected, inspected, and updated” Bombardier jets to provide a “like new” experience for customers, including a one-year manufacturer’s warranty and operational support.
Gallagher said a “whole remanufacturing program” occurs in the background before Bombardier remarkets the aircraft. By early last month, Bombardier already had delivered four Challengers through the program, with four more aircraft in process.
As all of this comes together Bombardier is realigning its leadership team with the planned retirement of Andy Nureddin, who had led the airframer's customer support division for nearly 15 years. Nureddin plans to fully retire in mid-2022 and has moved into a role as fleet leader for the Global 7500 but will also support the new customer support team through the transition.
Stepping in as v-p of customer support is Anthony Cox, who has served with Bombardier since 2006 has led customer support and in-service support teams for Bombardier in the Americas.
Bombardier also promoted Jason Schick, to serve as senior director of technical services with the responsibility for training services along with technical services and publications. Meanwhile, Chris Milligan, v-p of preowned aircraft services, is now steering flight operations.