Posted on: 21 June 2011 by Mark Howells
Mitsubishi Aircraft Corporation and Boeing have signed a partnership agreement for Boeing to provide customer support services for the Mitsubishi Regional Jet (MRJ) aircraft family.
“This is a vital deal utilising Boeing’s global services network,” noted Hideo Egawa, president, Mitsubishi Aircraft. “With this agreement, Mitsubishi Aircraft will be able to deliver profit-enhancing support and a competitive boost to our customers. We are confident that this agreement will further strengthen the relationship between our two companies.”
"We are honoured to assist Mitsubishi Aircraft as they establish their own customer support and services," said Jim Albaugh, president and CEO of Boeing Commercial Airplanes. "Our goal is to support Mitsubishi Aircraft in maximizing the lifetime value of their fleets and operations – we know from experience that this will give them a competitive edge in their market."
Boeing Commercial Aviation Services will provide Mitsubishi Aircraft with 24/7 customer support including spare parts provisioning, service operations and field services. It will allow Mitsubishi to focus on launching its business as it works with Boeing to create a world-class services operation that Mitsubishi may bring in house in the future.
“While Mitsubishi remains fully responsible for MRJ customer support activities, there are five key areas where Boeing will help us greatly through this agreement,” Egawa told LARAnews.net. “The first is a web portal. It will ultimately be our portal but Boeing will help to build it.”
With a user-friendly interface, the portal will bring together the applications and data needed to detect and predict service, maintenance and repair needs. It will be modelled on Boeing’s customer web portal, MyBoeingFleet.com.
“The second element involves field service representatives (FSRs) who will provide start-up help for airlines,” Egawa continued. “Both Boeing and Mitsubishi engineers will be involved with one engineer remaining with the airline once the start-up phase is completed.
“Third is the operations centre. This is where the 24/7 coverage will come from,” Egawa explained. “We’ll send MRJ engineers to work and learn at the Boeing operations centre and gradually we’ll move to our own operations system in Japan.
“Initial provisioning recommendations is the fourth element. This will help customer airlines to decide which inventory they should hold and which ones they should join a pooling system for. Finally,” said Egawa, “Boeing will assist greatly on an aircraft health management system. This will save time for airlines and reduce AOGs by transmitting data to maintenance engineers on the ground to ensure they can have and parts ready to use during turnaround.”
Mitsubishi Aircraft EVP Junichi Miyakawa emphasised the significance of the deal. “It’s a win–win for both ourselves and Boeing. For us, it’s a guarantee to deliver high quality customer support from day one. For Boeing it’s the first opportunity to support another manufacturer’s aircraft, which could develop into another revenue stream for them.
“It will help our marketing activities because customer support is as important as the hardware – the aircraft itself. So customers don’t have to be worried about the other part of the product they receive after they have their aircraft,” Miyakawa added.
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net