Aircelle (Safran) has developed new per-flight-hour* maintenance contracts guaranteeing total operational continuity for its nacelles. Rewarded by the 2013 Safran Innovation Award last April, this range of services enables airlines to increase their fleet’s availability.
Maintenance operations that are only carried in the event of an incident will soon be a thing of the past for Aircelle. Widely acclaimed by airline companies, per-flight-hour maintenance contracts are now on offer to all the nacelle-manufacturer’s customers. British Airways was the first airline to opt for this new service. „It’s a prestigious reference,” says Marc Laubreaux, the Customer Services Manager at Aircelle. „To ensure total customer satisfaction, we have joined forces with Rolls-Royce, the engine-maker for the twelve Airbus A380s ordered by British Airways. We are in charge of the „nacelle” aspect of the „Total Care” per-flight-hour maintenance contract for the engines. The agreement has been concluded for a minimum of twelve years and could run for up to 25 years; it will enable us to build a strong relationship with British Airways.„
Anticipation and availability
The contract covers the maintenance of the 48 nacelles of the future BA fleet**. It is particularly important for Aircelle and its customer, since potential incidents on this class of aircraft are immediately under the spotlight. „To guarantee total availability of the fleet’s nacelles, we assigned a field service officer (FSO) to British Airway’s London hub in July 2013,” explains Marc Laubreaux. „Our mission is to anticipate causes of breakdowns in order to carry out preventive maintenance operations. This involves changing parts before they are worn. With this in mind, we have a stock of parts available at all times, as well as a spare nacelle in BA’s colours.” In order to improve efficiency, Aircelle has designed new monitoring systems, which take into account each component of the nacelle. „In this way, we will be able to improve our knowledge of our products’ life-cycle. This information will be invaluable for upgrading existing equipment and developing new products,” he explains.
A local service that is greatly appreciated
The new service required making significant changes to the organization of certain services at Aircelle. „Managers dedicated specifically to these contracts ensure the coordination between the aircraft manufacturer, our different professions and the FSOs,” underlines Marc Laubreaux. „Without a doubt, our relations with customers have changed. Thanks to greater proximity, we have a better understanding of their expectations and constraints; the quality of our service has improved, and hence the customers’ level of satisfaction.”
This pioneering initiative in the field of nacelles could also appeal to low cost airlines, which, for the most part, do not have internal maintenance departments. „The conclusion of a contract with Interjet, a Mexican low cost airline, for the maintenance of the nacelles on their Sukhoi Superjet 100 aircraft will enable us to establish our international credibility with this type of customer,” concluded Marc Laubreaux.
* Per-flight-hour contracts make it possible to even out an airline’s maintenance budget through a fixed monthly payment based on the number of flight hours scheduled per aircraft.
** British Airway’s first Airbus A380 was delivered in July 2013, and two more will go into service by December of this year.
Source / Author: Safran