How can smaller airlines economically cover their spare parts needs? As Chuck Grieve discovers, a UK component supplier thinks he has the answer.
SHARE A THOUGHT FOR THE SMALLER AIRLINES
Instead of power-by-the-hour (PBH) contracts, how about a spares support agreement? That’s the suggestion of Justin Blockley, commercial director of Bii, a specialist component supplier.
It’s one of the solutions from parts suppliers and OEMs to help keep airline fleets in the air at an economical cost.
A spares support agreement isn’t for everyone, Blockley conceded, but neither is PBH. Speaking on the sidelines of MRO Middle East in Dubai, he said: “As I see it, any airline with fewer than 10-15 aircraft is too small for PBH.
“So instead of charging for a fixed number of hours in the air, I would propose setting a fixed term and fixed prices – with discounts – for full support for a package of spares. The airline pays a small percentage of their value, and gets availability 24/7. They’re still sending a purchase order; we’re still holding the stock. It’s helping both parties.
“With PBH, if you get the paperwork wrong and components keep failing – four starters in one month and you’re talking $400,000 plus, for example – it’s a disaster. With a spares support agreement, you still give me deadlines to commit to delivering the spare, but it’s a sales transaction. Not a 100% contract.