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Aviation News Chafic Hanna-Daher (Safran Nacelles): "Our objective is to double turnover from service contracts by 2022"

Chafic Hanna-Daher (Safran Nacelles): "Our objective is to double turnover from service contracts by 2022"

Interview by Romain Guillot
14 MAR 2019 | 1036 words
Chafic Hanna-Daher (Safran Nacelles):
Safran Nacelles
Safran Nacelles launched its NacelleLife(TM) offer during MRO Americas last April. This new services offer, which completes the OEM activity proposed by the largest nacelle manufacturer in the world, also confirms a fee-paying structure that the company has been implementing for a few years now, as Chafic Hanna-Daher, Safran Nacelles Services director, explains to us. Interview.

Is the Safran Nacelles activity dedicated to services a recent one?

Safran Nacelles began its service contracts with airlines in 2013. We really started to focus on this activity in 2017 with the creation of a dedicated organisation. This service-focused strategy is very important for several reasons. First of all, it enables us to create loyalty with customers, unlike unplanned events. Then we realised that we could work alongside our customers for the entire lifetime of the aircraft, from its entry into service until its dismantling, through transitions between operators (via leasing companies or resale). Our objective is to double turnover from service contracts by 2022.

You launched NacelleLife(TM) just under one year ago. What has your initial feedback been like?

Since we launched NacelleLife(TM) at the MRO Americas show in 2018, we have signed ten contracts. These contracts mainly cover airlines in Asia, China, Europe and the Middle East.

Is the NacelleLife(TM) offer targeting the A320neo as a priority?

Not necessarily. We are present on all market segments, from business aviation, where Safran Nacelles is the world number 1, via regional aviation with Embraer's E-Jets to medium and long-haul flights with A320neos, A330ceos & neos, A340s and A380s. Given the volumes, I think that the A320neo will dominate in the future. The other, older, programmes, have also enabled us to sign contracts more easily for the new ones thanks to the relationships trust that we have already established with customers.

Are NacelleLife(TM) services tailor-made?

The NacelleLife(TM) offer is available according to three types of contract. The first offer, which is on a dollars per flying hour basis, is the most complete. This solution includes stock management, proactive repair, inspections with personnel sent on-site and under wing repairs, often with dedicated personnel sent to the customer full time. The second type of contract includes solutions which only cover repair. Finally, we also propose asset management solutions. Certain airlines do not purchase any parts and don't want to build up stock for cost optimisation reasons. We then retain ownership of the stock and propose access if an event occurs, for example guaranteeing equipment available within four hours. Today, these contracts are divided up roughly one third-one third-one third.

How will you double this activity by 2022?

Thrust reversers and nacelles are "On-condition" equipment unlike engines, for example, where maintenance is scheduled. If we are to double our activity by 2022 we will need to be more proactive and show our customers all the advantages for them through anticipation and prevention on "on condition" equipment, as we know as designers and manufacturers (OEM) when a nacelle needs to be removed. We will also deploy higher performing predictive maintenance tools on certain systems and the first exploratory feedback has been encouraging.

The market has also shown us that there is a wide range of purchasing behaviours, especially with the A320neo. Certain airlines really don't want to hear about maintenance and delegate it to companies like ours, whereas others do everything in-house; there is a very broad spectrum between the two. This is how our NacellesLife(TM) services offer meets customers' requirements as it is fully customisable.

We are also developing new service ranges, driven by the market around asset management. For example, we are trying to place stocks in most places around the world: large component and small component stocks, dedicated stocks and shared pools. We can even have pools on customers' premises to provide a local service.

Does this mean, for example, a product targeted directly at low-cost airlines?

We have segmented the market and we are operating on this dynamic. Let's take the example of on-site interventions. The A320neo market is obviously much more dynamic than the A380 or the A330 market. There are many more cycles and so more reasons for a customer to call us to send a specialist out to the other side of the world within 48 hours because of a cockpit alarm related to a thrust reverser. We feel that it is extremely important to be able to respond to their request because that helps build a relationship of trust with the customer. We have adapted to our call centre 24/7 to enable us to meet the requirements of low-cost airlines. Our staff regularly spend time with them to learn their very specific ways of operating and to find out their particular requirements.

Two parameters enable us to remain up to date and win market share: competitiveness backed up by innovation in services. We launched a service called JetLife last October. It's a mobile app which lets operators see directly all the Service Bulletins (SB) to be carried out, the benefits they will generate for their fleets if they apply them and where these modifications may be implemented. It's an interesting tool for airlines with large fleets. The mobile app has already been deployed by five airlines and feedback is very positive. This offer is also a part of NacelleLife(TM).

What's more, we have a dedicated team who work closely with the Safran Nacelles design office to identify the improvements we can make to support for our current products and future programmes. For example, as soon as a new nacelle is designed, we look at how we can provide access to certain parts of the thrust reverser without needing to remove it in order to encourage maintenance operations. We are also integrating more digital into the aerostructure arena and the complex thrust reverser system to propose predictive and preventive maintenance. Here again, customers have high expectations and only companies who design and manufacture their own equipment are able to provide the best support and service for the benefit of operations and to reduce maintenance costs.
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia

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