After servicing customer airplanes on the ramp or in their hangars at Paris Le Bourget Airport with two mobile response team trucks, Bombardier (Booth Z117, Static AD_15) now has its own facility there. The 30,000-sq-ft hangar it moved into has capacity for a mix of Bombardier business jets ranging from Learjets to the flagship Global 7500.
“What we wanted to do is to firm up our position at Le Bourget, develop some infrastructure that can cope with something a little greater than what a truck can handle,” Bombardier v-p of customer support Anthony Cox told AIN. “It’s still a ton of capability when we have full jacks and we have hydraulic carts—all of the necessary tools to perform maintenance.” Engine changes, structural changes, and smaller inspections are among some of Bombardier’s expanded capabilities at Le Bourget.
Cox, who called the hangar “historic,” said the expansion serves to accommodate what has been a busy site for Bombardier technicians. “It’s got an enormous amount of traffic and quite honestly we have a loyal customer base and that loyal customer base had always asked us, ‘Can you do more?’” he explained.
“We’ve gone from a relatively light crew of five people up to 10 at Le Bourget,” Cox added. “And then as the traffic and utilization of that facility evolves, we’ve got plenty of room to grow.”
Moreover, the new hangar represents the Canadian airframer’s push to bring more Learjet, Challenger, and Global maintenance in-house. In Europe, that effort has included the expansion of service centers such as its 300,000-sq-ft London Biggin Hill facility for heavy maintenance and a 160,000-sq-ft service center at Berlin Brandenburg Airport after acquiring the remaining shares of Lufthansa Bombardier Aviation Services from Lufthansa Technik and ExecuJet Aviation Group.
Besides the service centers, Bombardier‘s European line maintenance stations are located in Geneva, Switzerland; Linz, Austria; Milan and Olbia, Italy; Luton, UK; and Nice, France.
“We’re now moving into the slightly different demographic of light and line maintenance,” Cox said. “In the Americas, you see a very dense population of MROs. Europe doesn’t have the same density. This was an opportunity for us to go and address the market to make sure that we do have a presence that we can serve the customers faster and more conveniently.”
There may be additional opportunities to grow in Paris in the future. “Eventually, we may be able to put more modest parts holdings into Paris and improve our response time, as opposed to parts coming from our Frankfurt facility or Biggin Hill or Berlin,” he said.
“The authorized service network is being rationalized as we move into the market,” Cox explained. “We’re really taking control of our own destiny. They’re our customers. We want to serve our customers.”