, aiming to become a “major” player in aftermarket support, is poised to announce its first long-term agreement with an A350 customer and is in talks with several more, a company executive reported.
The 12-year deal with a European operator is at the airline’s board-approval stage, according to Airbus Vice President-Services Solutions Pierre Yves Reville, and should be finalized soon.
“This is the first step into a very promising market,” Reville said. “We do intend to be one of the major players on A350” aftermarket support, he added
The deal is expected to be an Airbus Flight Hour Services (FHS) agreement, in which operators pay per flight hour for access to spares pools. Customized services are added based upon customer needs.
Airbus is talking with several other A350 customers, including Latam Airlines Group, , one other major European operator and 2 Chinese operators, Reville confirmed.
Spares pools are becoming more popular as airlines look to minimize parts-stocking costs, particularly with the newest-generation aircraft.
The increased technological sophistication and improved reliability means that complex components for models like the A350 are needed less often than similar parts on earlier-generation aircraft.
This makes them more expensive to stock, and more challenging to stock in the right locations within a single airline’s network.
The trend has operators turning to aftermarket services and logistics experts to provide on-demand pools for certain spares.
Airbus, which can team with its wholly owned parts and logistics subsidiary Satair on comprehensive-support packages, sees itself as in a prime spot to help meet the growing demand.
Airbus calculates that an airline needs 80-90 A350s before it can economically justify its own spares pool.
A typical A350 spares pool to support 10-12 aircraft can run about $30 million.
Airbus’s FHS offering and its more-comprehensive sibling, Total Support Package (TSP), have been slow to take off, but the manufacturer says interest is picking up, both among A350 customers and current customers looking to add in-service aircraft to their agreements.
Based on the article “Airbus Eyes Major Role In A350 Aftermarket Support; First Customer Imminent” published in Aviation Daily