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Pratt & Whitney Canada (P&WC) is starting to see “conservative growth” in the civil helicopter industry — and is adapting its service offerings to help customers take advantage of a rebounding market.
“Everyone’s looking to expand their business and grow their portfolio,” said Irene Makris, VP of sales and marketing for P&WC. “As they’re trying to create new business opportunities, we want to be there with them, and create the services that help us grow, but also help our customers to grow and be more successful.”
At HAI Heli-Expo 2019, P&WC is announcing modifications to two existing service programs, plus a new option for helicopter customers. The first program to be enhanced is the certified pre-owned (CPO) engine program that the company launched at Heli-Expo 2018.
Similar to the CPO programs that are popular for high-end used cars, P&WC’s program uses an inspection process to enable the buyer of a used helicopter to obtain a warranty for the engine — increasing the value of the aircraft for both the buyer and the seller.
Last year, P&WC launched its CPO engine program for PW200 and PT6C engines with a one-year, 500-hour warranty. Now, it is expanding the program to also encompass PW210, PT6B and PT6T engines, and extending the warranty to two years or 500 hours. (It is also offering a “lite” version, with a nine-month/250-hour warranty.)
There is a one-time inspection required for the CPO program, with a fee that varies by model. However, if the owner of the aircraft then chooses to enroll in a P&WC pay-per-hour service program, that amount will be applied as a credit.
According to Makris, the CPO program has been well received by customers in its first year. With its further expansion, she said, “we expect to see a lot more capture, and a lot more interest from our customer base.”
P&WC is also enhancing the small fleet pay-per-hour program it launched last year, which it is also rebranding as the Fleet Service Plan (FSP). As Makris explained, the FSP was designed to fill the gap between the company’s Eagle Service Plan (ESP), which is attached to an individual aircraft, and its Fleet Management Program (FMP), for customers with more than five aircraft.
“We have a lot of customers that are growing — single aircraft operators that are becoming multiple [aircraft operators] — and then hopefully they become fleets, and want to enable that growth for them,” she said, estimating that more than a quarter of the Pratt-powered helicopter fleet falls into this niche.
P&WC’s basic FSP includes coverage for overhaul, hot section inspection, basic repairs, and environmental damage; engine health monitoring; technical publications; and engine freight fees. New this year, P&WC is adding three optional packages for low-cycle fatigue/life-limited part coverage, rental engine support, and parts exchange.
P&WC is also rolling out an ESP New Engine Option (NEO) program for helicopter customers, which will allow them to leverage their ESP investment toward a new engine instead of overhaul.
The company launched this option last year for general aviation (PT6A) operators, and “we have seen some requests from customers in the helicopter market for the same service,” Makris said. Now, the company is making it available to PW200 and PT6C-67C operators, covering most of the company’s twin-engine helicopter applications, including the Leonardo AW139.
Makris said that P&WC intends to remain flexible with these and other service programs, continuously adapting them to suit the needs of customers.
“The landscape continues to change and the customer requirements continue to change every year. So if we see a need to revamp any of them, or redirect any of them, we’ll do it,” she said.