Step inside any of Bombardier Business Aircraft's nine world-class service centers and you will be delighted by the new customer amenities.
All the entrance foyers, offices and meeting rooms have been upgraded to a high standard to provide visiting flight crew and maintenance personnel with comfortable surroundings.
With a focus on providing exceptional support, Bombardier set out to further heighten the customer experience by encouraging customers to bring their business jets to a highly skilled Bombardier service center where they will benefit from know-how only the OEM can provide.
As a result, Bombardier embarked on a plan to ensure it reaches its customers – wherever and whenever – by expanding its worldwide footprint and enhancing processes. The new Bombardier Customer Experience organization, based on three functional teams – Products, Services and Delivery – offers Bombardier customers peace of mind and satisfaction knowing that their aircraft are in good hands at a Bombardier facility. One of the new Customer Experience team’s first initiatives was to launch the “bring your jet home” campaign, encouraging customers to visit one of Bombardier’s top-notch service centers around the world to benefit from the OEM’s expertise, knowledge and new product offerings.
Customer driven expansion
Chris Debergh, Vice President of Delivery for Customer Experience, Bombardier Business Aircraft, leads a 1,600-member team that supports the rapid growth of Bombardier’s service centers, as well as the timely worldwide distribution of parts.
“As the Bombardier fleet continues to grow, so does our service center network. We are currently focused on opening new facilities for scheduled maintenance and expanding existing ones, so we can provide our OEM expertise and knowledge, whenever and wherever customers need it,” says Debergh.
With its growing fleet in China, Bombardier opened the Tianjin Service Center in April 2017, and the facility has since received numerous certifications. The Tianjin Service Center recently completed its first 60-month inspection on a Global aircraft and a 120-month inspection on a Challenger aircraft.
Another important step in Bombardier’s commitment to reaching more of its customers around the world was the inauguration of its London Biggin Hill Service Center in May 2017.
Less than a year after opening its Biggin Hill Service Center, Bombardier expanded the facility with an additional hangar, which is now operational.
With an installed base of more than 600 Bombardier business aircraft in Europe, the London Biggin Hill Service Center is well positioned to provide world-class heavy maintenance and support services to Bombardier customers and operators in the region. The London Biggin Hill Service Center also offers numerous aftermarket products to further enhance the flight experience on board a Bombardier business jet, including Ka-band, Pro Line 21, Take-off Safety Enhancements and interior refurbishment modifications, among many others.
“Bombardier’s investment in, and efforts to ramp up capacity at, its services centers have made it possible to turn out aircraft faster and have brought greater value and peace of mind to customers,” says Debergh.
Bombardier is also driving global operational standardization across nine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities and three global parts distribution centers since implementing a Customer Experience protocol. According to Debergh, this keeps customers “in the loop when an aircraft visits our facilities.” Customers can follow the progress and make real-time decisions regarding any new work that may arise.
“We survey our customers constantly and move fast to address any concerns that are raised. We promote a culture of transparency, open communication and accountability. Many of our customers tell us they are so pleased, they would recommend Bombardier to colleagues,” adds Debergh, highlighting the positive response to the service initiatives.
Another of Bombardier initiatives in 2017 was to open a state-of-the-art interior-design center at Bombardier’s Tucson Service Center – the largest support facility in its worldwide network – thereby replicating the refurbishment capabilities established in Singapore a couple of years ago.
“Our interior designers work with you to understand your preferences to propose the best looking cabin for you and your needs,” says Debergh.
Bombardier continues to explore opportunities to further increase its footprint, “because any successful MRO business will eventually run out of hangar space,” says Debergh, adding that more hangar space will also be required to maintain the new Bombardier Global 7000 aircraft – the industry’s largest and longest-range business jet – which enters service in 2018. Just what facility will expand next will be “customer driven,” adds Debergh.
Delivering added value
Design, technology and consumer electronics are constantly evolving – Bombardier believes business aircraft should do the same. In 2016, Bombardier became the first aircraft manufacturer to offer the revolutionary Ka-band high-speed internet connectivity system in a business aircraft cabin. The system is now available on new Challenger 650 aircraft and Global series aircraft, and as a retrofit on Challenger 604, Challenger 605, and Challenger 650 aircraft, as well as on all Global aircraft, through Bombardier’s extensive service network.
The aircraft maker also partnered with Duncan Aviation to bring to market Gogo Business Aviation’s 4G next-generation air-to-ground (ATG) internet system, known as Gogo Avance L5, on new Bombardier business jets, and as a retrofit on in-service aircraft. The system uses the Gogo Biz 4G ground network of more than 250 towers, providing reliable connectivity over the continental U.S. and large parts of Canada and Alaska.
Bombardier’s service centers allow customers to optimize downtime on their aircraft by pairing the installation of products like Ka-band or Gogo Avance L5 installation with a scheduled maintenance check and other important upgrades, such as Automatic Dependent Surveillance- Broadcast (ADS-B Out V2).
Aviation authorities such as FAA and EASA require all business aircraft to be equipped with ADS-B Out V2 by January 1, 2020, or face being grounded for non-compliance. Bombardier believes that if a customer waits too long, it might be too late. As such, it recommends combining the installation of ADS-B Out V2 with an upcoming maintenance event at one of its worldwide service centers to save time and money.
“Our technicians combine upgrades with maintenance events to ensure minimal interruptions,” explains Debergh. Customers have responded positively to the opportunity to have new flight deck and cabin upgrades installed while an aircraft is visiting Bombardier for maintenance or a 96- or 120-month inspection, Debergh adds.
In between service center visits for maintenance, inspections and upgrades, Bombardier Business Aircraft customers can rely on a multi-layered global network with more than 100 sites for support.
Two large parts distribution hubs in Chicago and Frankfurt help create one of the most expansive parts distribution networks in the business aviation industry. The two facilities, strategically located at large airline hubs, have a combined footprint of 292,000 square feet (27,126 square meters) and ship more than 2,300 line items every day to customers around the world, as well as to nine regional parts depots and nine service center locations.
The two new Maintenance Control Centers in Linz, Austria, and Wichita, Kansas, are connected to the centralized Customer Response Center and provide customers with a single point of contact to a team of aviation professionals with an in-depth understanding and knowledge of aircraft maintenance. The Customer Response Center is a one-stop resource that puts the proper team into motion to support a customer in any situation.
The six new Line Maintenance Stations in Europe (Linz, Austria; Cannes and Nice, France; Milan and Olbia, Italy; and Luton, UK) are also successful. Staffed with expert technicians, they are equipped with specialized test equipment for in-depth troubleshooting and unscheduled maintenance.
“The addition of the line maintenance stations is an integral part of our overall strategy to enhance OEM support for our European customers, including the opening of our brand-new heavy maintenance facility at London Biggin Hill Airport,” explains Debergh.
With 14 Mobile Response Team vehicles placed at strategic locations in the United States and nine in Europe, the team provides line maintenance support, complementing the tip-to-tail heavy maintenance services provided by Bombardier’s service and support network in the region and worldwide.
Bombardier’s bolstered support network does not stop at service centers and its Mobile Response Team: the OEM is also looking to grow its team of technicians.
“We are constantly on the lookout for the best of the best,” says Debergh. “We are currently recruiting in all locations for avionics, interior, quality, project management, and more.”