Service and maintenance programmes are becoming increasingly important for OEMs, and technologies such as 3D printing are pushing the capability forward more than ever.
The first question Alasdiar Whyte, Editor, Corporate Jet Investor, asked was whether aircraft are more reliable today than yesterday. The panel, including JSSI – one of the largest buyers of jet services in the world – agreed they were, saying that core components, including engines are far-more reliable.
Fewer airframe maintenance programmes are being sold than engine programmes; however, Mark Winzar, from JSSI, says that aircraft programmes are not as well understood. The rest of the delegates are behind airframe programmes, with 82% of delegates agreeing that the programmes make it easier to sell aircraft.
When asked when is the best time to enrol an aircraft on an airframe programme, Geoffry Corbeil, senior director, commercial services at Pratt & Whitney Canada said that the best was at the time of purchase, the panel agreed, saying that adding the aircraft to a programme new will maximise the value of the coverage.
Maintenance and servicing are costly and the panel does not see prices falling. The panel thinks they will stabilise as the technology and service continue to improve.
OEMs are heading towards zero unplanned maintenance; Rolls-Royce is specifically targeting this with their project zero programme. Most other service providers are also looking to the 0% figure as an ideal.
Finally, the panellists were uncertain as to when we will we see electric business jets, with a tentative answer of “a few decades” across the panel. Nevertheless, OEMs are not letting the grass grow under their feet, looking at such possibilities with interest and investing heavily.
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