EBACE Convention News

Rolls-Royce Strives for Impeccable Customer Support

 - May 22, 2023, 10:13 AM
Rolls-Royce has a facility in Savannah, Georgia, to support Gulfstreams like this G700 powered by the Pearl 700. (Photo: Gulfstream)

Rolls-Royce is highlighting its service and support credentials this week at EBACE 2023. The company describes its global business aviation service center network as “one of the largest and most comprehensive in the industry” and includes more than 75 authorized facilities across the world.

The company’s decision around a decade ago to address business aircraft and commercial airliner maintenance needs via separate dedicated units has paid dividends. “The resources used to be shared, but we quickly realized that business aviation customers have unique needs and demands,” noted Andy Robinson, senior v-p of business aviation services at Rolls-Royce (Booth X98).

For these clients, aircraft availability is key, he explained, as their assets are typically used as business tools and for timesaving, flexibility, and convenience. “If there is an issue, we must be able to return their aircraft to service as soon as possible, so taking all these factors into consideration we invested in developing what has become one of the largest service networks in the world,” Robinson said.

More than 1,000 people are employed across the network. In addition to the 75 authorized centers, Rolls-Royce has 70 “On-Wing” service technicians in the U.S., Europe, the Middle East, and Asia whose role is to respond to any issue wherever it may be. Robinson calls remote-site rescue “one of Rolls-Royce’s key areas of focus,” adding that "we want to be able to respond to our customers very quickly."

Building a vast spares inventory has also been a vital tool in the support operation. With more than 10 parts stores worldwide, “we've invested significantly in building inventory systems to make sure that we're tracking and replenishing our stocks to be able to the meet the needs of our customers anywhere,” Robinson said. The network also has 160 lease engines available. “If you add on the nacelle assets, [our offering] is even greater,” he noted.

Rolls-Royce is also expanding its nacelle lease pool to be able to support its CorporateCare Enhanced customers. Introduced in 2019, this comprehensive maintenance program supports the full powerplant—engine and nacelle.

Rolls-Royce has embraced an industry-standard metric of 100 percent “averted missed trips,” meaning no business aircraft running on a Rolls-Royce engine and covered by a CorporateCare program is kept on the ground long enough to delay a planned flight. “We consistently track over 99 percent, and while we have hit 100 percent averted missed trips for individual months, we will be satisfied only when we are achieving this consistently,” said Robinson.

Rolls-Royce has also garnered strong relationships with its OEM partners. Last year, the company broke ground on a facility in Le Haillan near Bordeaux, France, that will help with the production of the Pearl 10X engine. Dassault, based in nearby Merignac Airport, selected the turbofan to power its in-development flagship Falcon 10X, which is scheduled for service entry in 2025.

Robinson calls the Le Haillan facility “unique.” Scheduled to open later this year, the 2,000-sq-m (21,528-sq-ft) complex is being set up to operate independently from the authorized service center network, he explained, as it is initially “dedicated to supporting Dassault with the engine integration, 10X flight-test activities, entry into service, and production line.”

Rolls-Royce also has a significant presence in Montreal, to support Bombardier’s business aircraft engines, including the Pearl 15—purpose-built for the Global 6500 and 5500; and the BR710 which powers the Global 6000, 5000, and the out-of-service Express and XRS as well as a dedicated maintenance and overhaul shop for all its engine programs. 

It also has a Savannah, Georgia facility to support Gulfstream, including the in-development G700/800 and in-service G650/ER powered by the Pearl 700 and BR725, respectively. The facility also supports the BR710 and Tay engines on the out-of-production G550 and G450, respectively.

“These facilities are an important part of our strategy to be as close as possible to our airframer partners and our customers,” said Robinson.