Bombardier Aerospace has launched a new fee-based support program for older Learjets and Challengers so it can focus specifically on the needs of these so-called "classic aircraft" (CA) operators and provide "effective technical and service solutions."
Bombardier established a separate support program for aircraft that have been out of production for 10 years or more because these aging airplanes need more engineering and technical support than newer aircraft. A company spokesperson said, "The other major OEMs already have similar structures in place, [so] we feel that the time is now right for us to implement our [fee-based] program," especially in light of the fact that service and support requests by older aircraft operators "have increased dramatically in the past two to three years."
Aircraft covered by the program include a variety of vintage Learjets: the 23, 24 series, 25 series, 28, 29, 31 (but not the 31A), 35, 35A, 36, 36A and 55 series. Bombardier also has designated the Challenger 600, 601-1A, 601-3A and 601-3R as "classic aircraft." A dedicated team within Bombardier´s Customer Response Centers (CRCs) is in place to handle CA support requests, which can be made by calling either the Learjet or Challenger hotlines.
CA customers will be charged for various types of support, including assistance provided by the CRCs, field service support, technical support, service engineering and maintenance program engineering. Rates will vary based on the time of day of the request (during regular office hours or after hours) and type of support (whether or not personnel need to be dispatched to work on site with the customer). On average, the hourly rate for all categories of Classic Support (except for field service support) will range from $ 110 to $ 280 per hour. The spokesperson said Bombardier officials are still in the process of compiling and analyzing requests from customers and "getting a clearer image of where and what the needs are." The program is expected to encapsulate spares, tooling, ground support equipment, maintenance and technical publications in addition to current service offerings.
When customers call a CRC, they will be asked for either a purchase order or credit card number. A Service Request for Product Support Action (SRPSA) will accompany all chargeable services. An invoice, referencing this SRPSA, will then be sent to customers. Bombardier says revenue generated from the program will fund further CA support improvement initiatives. The company also is looking at offering support packages to assist customers in a cost-effective manner.