Buying a Bell helicopter with a Pratt & Whitney engine and signing up for maintenance plans just got easier, with Bell now fully equipped and authorized to detail the benefits of Pratt & Whitney Eagle Service™ Plans (ESP™) and register customers for the service. Here’s what that means for operators.
CONVENIENCE AND PEACE OF MIND FOR HELICOPTER BUYERS
For most, purchasing a new helicopter involves dedicating a day to registering for a variety of pay-per-hour maintenance plans, if desired. Bell simplifies this process for buyers of its helicopters through Customer Advantage Plans
(CAP) that cover the airframe, avionics, landing gear and other elements under a single plan. Previously, customers of Bell 429, 427, 412 and 212 couldn’t sign up for engine coverage at the same time – until now.
Bell and Pratt & Whitney have reached an agreement that lets customers learn about and register for an Eagle Service™ Plan (ESP™)
at the same time as they sign up for CAP. In other words, operators can now handle every aspect of enrolling in complete, nose-to-tail, pay-per-hour coverage in a single conversation with Bell. (Once coverage is in effect, Pratt & Whitney and the helicopter owner will interface directly on engine maintenance.)
Bell’s CAP representative will explain to the buyer how the ESP engine maintenance plan works and talk them through the enrolment process, such as deciding on the payment structure.
It’s the first time Pratt & Whitney has worked with a helicopter OEM like this. “The decision to do so was taken with the best interests of our customers in mind,” says Delray Dobbins
of ESP Sales and Global Strategy at Pratt & Whitney.
This approach provides simplicity for buyers. They have the convenience of a single point of contact for signing up for their pay-per-hour maintenance needs and the comfort of knowing they’ll receive Pratt & Whitney’s high standard of OEM maintenance program coverage.
Delray Dobbins, ESP Sales and Global Strategy
COMPREHENSIVE COVERAGE AND COST PREDICTABILITY
As part of the CAP, Bell 429 and 427 buyers can get ESP Platinum coverage for their PW207 engines, while Bell 412 and 212 buyers have the choice of ESP Gold or Gold Lite for their PT6T engines.
The various ESP plans support customers’ businesses by delivering comprehensive coverage of engine maintenance events and other related expenses, with no minimum usage requirements or upfront management fees. These plans deliver value for money and facilitate accurate budgeting and smooth cash flow by enabling a more predictable, planned maintenance environment.
ESP Platinum, for instance, provides seamless protection of scheduled maintenance, parts and line labour, mobile repair team and aircraft-on-ground support, digital engine services, technical publications, training and more, all for a fixed, “no-surprises” hourly rate.
ENHANCING HELICOPTER RESALE VALUE
Besides the direct benefits included in each ESP plan, having pay-per-hour maintenance coverage also increases the resale value of aircraft.
Over the past decade, the number of corporately owned fixed-wing aircraft with engines enrolled in maintenance plans has risen dramatically. “When I talk to corporate flight departments about this shift, what they say is that maintenance programs make it much easier to resell their aircraft,” Delray says.
“Not only do fixed-wing aircraft on engine maintenance plans like ESP – which is transferrable from one owner to the next – sell faster, but they sell for higher prices, since the engines have been maintained by the OEM in accordance with best practices,” he remarks.
A similar pattern is emerging in the helicopter segment.
David Crick, Managing Director with DavAir Group, a global aviation appraisal provider, who is also an ASA (American Society of Appraisers) Senior Accredited Appraiser, advises that over the last five years, for the larger helicopter market such as for the Bell 427 and 429, engine programs like ESP have become more recognized and accepted as adding value and protecting operators from surprises. David adds that also driving this change in the industry are the banking and finance sectors which want more security from their clients and often favour OEM maintenance programs to protect their assets through the terms of the agreement with their client.
For more of Delray’s insights into why buyers today favour aircraft on plans such as ESP, check out Maintenance Programs: A Prerequisite for Pre-Owned Aircraft Operators.