A lot of attention goes to Airbus’ product line of modern single-aisle and widebody aircraft – and justifiably so – but just as important are the company’s tailored customer services that keep these jetliners flying safely and efficiently, year after year.
On the Farnborough International Airshow’s second day, Airbus gave its range of innovative services the spotlight they deserve – including a special press event and the unveiling of a new integrated flight operations and air traffic management service company – while also announcing major new commercial activity.
“We have a mission to support our fleet and our aircraft," said Laurent Martinez, leader of the “Services by Airbus” business unit, during the media briefing. "We see services as a way to increase the competitiveness of Airbus aircraft, because we are able to simplify and optimise operational costs and increase availability. That means more flying hours for the airlines for less cost!"
A full portfolio of service capabilities
The aviation industry is seeing a growing trend of companies focusing more and more on their core activities and looking for a trusted partner to bring added value to their business with innovative solutions and the most advanced technologies available.
To meet this evolving dynamic, Airbus offers a complete portfolio of end-to-end lifecycle solutions – which include four principle domains: Maintenance
– ensuring reactivity for airlines and MRO (maintenance repair and overhaul) centres worldwide for spare parts; Upgrade services
– keeping customers’ aircraft up-to-date with the latest technology and the most comfortable cabins; Training
– ensuring there are the qualified pilots, cabin crew and maintenance staff to support the fleet of commercial aircraft flown by operators worldwide; Flight operations
– providing the right information so in-service aircraft provide the best value for operators.
Identifying future requirements
Airbus expects the global MRO services market to continue growing over the next 20 years, with total spending for aftermarket services estimated at US$ 3 trillion in the company’s first-ever global services forecast (GSF) – issued this week in coordination with Airbus’ latest global market forecast report.
Airbus’ worldwide services business – which today spans six customer support facilities and 14 training centres – will expand in kind as the next 20 years sees a requirement for some 560,000 new pilots and 540,000 new engineers to fly the and maintain the new aircraft entering the market.
Continued commercial momentum for the A320neo – supported by training services
Day 2 of the Farnborough Airshow saw the continued popularity of the A320neo (new engine option) – with endorsements from airlines based in Asia, India and Europe that also underscored the importance of Airbus services in these dynamic regions.
Headlining this activity was a major new order from AirAsia for 100 A321neo jetliners, increasing its total orders for A320 Family aircraft to 575, and reaffirming its position as the largest airline customer for Airbus’ single-aisle product line. The deal was fittingly announced in a high profile event at the air show’s media centre – with an AirAsia A320, which arrived at the Farnborough Airport this morning, also present in the Airbus Group static display area.
During a lively press conference to announce the deal, AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes applauded Airbus’ commitment to customers in creating a strong partnership between the two companies. “I don’t think there is a manufacturer in the world who supports their airlines like Airbus has done,” he said.
Indian low-cost airline Go Air CEO Wolfgang Prock-Schauer also cited Airbus’ services offer today in announcing a memorandum of understanding for 72 A320neo jetliners as the airline grows its fleet to a total of 144 aircraft – expanding into new domestic routes as well as international services. “We are thinking of cooperating with Airbus for pilot training in India, where Airbus already has infrastructure [with in-country flight training on the A320 Family], which would be a good combination,” Prock-Schauer told reporters during a press conference.
Other commercial activity booked by Airbus announced today included firm orders for 25 A320neos from Germania Group, and four A321 jetliners from WOW air. On the services side, it was announced that Air France has agreed to install Airbus’ Runway Overrun Prevention System (ROPS), and AutoPilot/ Flight Director TCAS on its A320 and A330 Family aircraft; and Airbus has partnered with Rolls-Royce to deliver integrated parts availability service for Cathay Pacific Airways’ A350 XWBs.
Putting an exclamation mark on the day’s events with a services focus, Airbus also unveiled its new integrated flight operations air traffic management company. Called NAVBLUE, the company was created to deliver end-to-end, innovative and integrated flight operations services. It unites the portfolios of Navtech – which Airbus acquired in March – with Airbus ProSky and Airbus Flight Operations Services.
The new company has been optimised to reinvent the flight operations ecosystem, with a complete range of digital flight operations solutions for users operating in civil or military environments, on ground or on-board of any aircraft.
"Reach for the skies" is the ambitious motto of NAVBLUE, reflecting both the pioneering spirit of Airbus and the agility of Navtech. "Our customers are at the heart of our business," said President and CEO of NAVBLUE, Mike Hulley. "We're going to support their every day job experiences thanks to end-to-end digital services."
One thing to say about Boeing…
Capping off Airbus’ outreach at the Farnborough Airshow, was a recognition of its competitor Boeing’s100th anniversary, which is occurring this year.
Watch the video "One think to say about Boeing