Rolls-Royce Corporate Care introduces digital AOG tool
Corporate Care, the engine maintenance programme of Rolls-Royce, is introducing a new set of digital tools to help customers when their aircraft has gone AOG (aircraft on ground) because of an engine failure.
The new Android and iOS applications allow users to create a maintenance case themselves, and upload photos and videos directly into the Corporate Care management system. This is managed by the operational service desk, and users will be able to track in real time all of the actions that are being taken to deal with their case.
To date, Corporate Care manages more than 2,000 aircraft, which is just over 70% of the current fleet of business jets that are flying with Rolls-Royce engines. Although the largest percentage of these are new aircraft, there is a growing percentage of older aircraft joining the programme.
Scott Shannon, executive vice president, customer business and services – civil small and medium engines, says that one of the main advantages of having an aircraft on the programme is that it can increase the value of the aircraft when it is sold on. Shannon says that, in some cases, this could be as much as 10% and gives an example of a relatively new Bombardier Global aircraft having an additional $2 million of value.
As well as having a higher value, Shannon says that aircraft on Corporate Care generally sell around 50% quicker than those that aren’t.
Once on Corporate Care, aircraft normally stay on the programme once they are sold. “We almost never lose an aircraft,” says Shannon, adding that the retention rate is around 99.5%.
To be able to support the growing number of aircraft on Corporate Care, Rolls-Royce has invested heavily in parts warehouses around the world. Some of these are dedicated to business aviation, although the company has the advantage of having a large installed base of commercial aircraft engines in service as well, so some spares stores are shared between commercial and business aviation.
The newest one of these could be in Beijing, as the company is currently looking into the feasibility. Two of the most popular aircraft types in China are the Gulfstream G450 and G550, both of which use Rolls-Royce engines.
Should an aircraft go AOG because of an engine failure, Rolls-Royce currently has more than 50 on-wing mobile repair technicians at 15 locations around the world.
Alongside this is a series of authorised service centres. These are not owned by Rolls-Royce, but have been audited to ensure the level of service that they provide. Currently Rolls-Royce has 72 of these in place globally, although several more are expected to be announced during the NBAA.
With systems in place to help operators in AOG situations, Rolls-Royce is looking to expand its Corporate Care customer base, although it is realistic about how much this can grow.
Shannon says that, when he joined the company, the percentage of flying aircraft with Rolls-Royce engines on was around 50%, but this has already grown to around 70%.
“It will continue to increase as aircraft transition and people realise the value. There are some people who don’t believe in programmes and never will, they prefer to self insure, so I don’t think 100% is a realistic goal. But I don’t see any reason why we can’t improve on the 70%,” says Shannon.