Airtime Blog

How P&W’S DMF Network Has Enhanced Its Value To Customers

By PRATT & WHITNEY CUSTOMER SERVICE
March 2, 2021 | Maintenance, Passion, Technology | 3 min read
Launched in 2017 to provide customers worldwide with local access to key services, Pratt & Whitney’s Designated Maintenance Facility (DMF) network is providing more value than ever during the pandemic.

A vital link to customers

Over the past year, restrictions on international travel have made obtaining maintenance services more challenging for many in the aviation field. During this time of harder borders and logistical barriers, Pratt & Whitney’s network of Designated Maintenance Facilities (DMFs) is demonstrating the value of offering tailored in-country services.

This network provides customers with access to engine OEM-approved services such as line maintenance, mobile repairs and hot section inspections, often in their own language. The facilities serve as a vital local link for customers who would otherwise have to pay more and wait longer to receive services in the current environment.

Ismael Rhissa Zakary, General Manager, Customer Service Centre Europe, cites Europe as an example of the DMFs’ enhanced role in meeting customers’ needs.

“European countries such as Spain and Italy have been tremendously affected by the pandemic,” he says. “Our DMFs were able to intervene very quickly and provide support when our own technicians, most of whom are based in Germany and the United Kingdom, were unable to travel in person.”

DMFs offer solutions to new challenges

Along with taking steps to ensure the safety of customers and staff, like introducing strict COVID-19 protocols and by obtaining vaccinations for personnel, DMFs have stepped up during the past year, demonstrating their flexibility and commitment. 

In response to the current challenging circumstances, they have been handling a larger number of mobile repair service requests. Since many of these facilities operate their own aircraft, they sometimes use them to expedite local and cross-border travel.

In one case, the DMF in Serbia, Prince Aviation, flew its own plane to Switzerland to support a customer in the field and get their aircraft back into service promptly. 

In another case, a hot section inspection (HSI) was required for a PT6A-42 engine in Seville, Spain. Pratt & Whitney’s own technicians in England were subject to travel restrictions at the time. The Customer Service Centre reached out to the DMF in the Netherlands, Rijnmond Air Services, who agreed to step in. They dispatched technicians to handle the HSI within the customers’ requested timeframe while complying with COVID-19 guidelines.

When travel became difficult, the DMF network helped us stay close to customers, many of whom were providing essential services such as medical transportation. The speed at which they ramped up their service offerings was impressive.
Ismael Rhissa Zakary, General Manager, Customer Service Centre Europe

A steadily growing network

Pratt & Whitney’s DMF network has added seven more locations over the past 12 months. These are located in Chile, Germany, Serbia, the Netherlands, Italy, Colombia, and Qatar, joining those that existed already in Canada, Panama, China (2 locations), Russia, India, Mexico and Brazil (three locations).

Providing support for a wide range of engine models, each facility is selected by Pratt & Whitney to fill gaps in the market in key regions, notes Sonia Merbouh, Senior Manager, Service Network Management and Strategy. They provide customers with a one-stop shop for high-quality maintenance services, tooling, parts and expert OEM-backed technical support.

Our DMFs provide customers with quicker turnaround times and faster return to service, while also streamlining logistics when shipping parts and rental engines. In some cases, we have multiple facilities in the same region to cater to different aircraft populations.
Sonia Merbouh, Senior Manager, Service Network Management and Strategy
The most recently appointed DMF is Gulf Helicopters Company in Qatar, which operates a fleet of over 50 helicopters and serves a broad region encompassing the Middle East and Africa. It will provide customers in this key growing market, particularly in the oil and gas sector, with access to a reliable, OEM-standard facility.

Continuing to expand DMF capabilities

Moving forward, Pratt & Whitney plans to steadily expand the DMF network to provide support for engine models and regions that need it. During the coming year, the focus will be on the Asia-Pacific region. 

Just as the network is growing, individual DMFs are also working to enhance their capabilities. Since joining the network, ABA in Brazil, for instance, has built a second hangar to accommodate more aircraft and tooling. Aero-Dienst in Germany has expanded its capabilities to support additional Turbofan Post-Rental Inspections despite the difficult lockdown conditions. Similarly, Taj Air in India has invested in another engine stand, while Alidaunia in Italy has added more technicians, tooling and training. Here is a video that showcases how Alidaunia intervened and provided support during the pandemic. 

DMFs are about much more than providing access to technicians. It’s a partnership aimed at providing customers with any support they need. DMFs understand the logistics of the country or region.
Sonia Merbouh, Senior Manager, Service Network Management and Strategy

The DMFs are integrated into the rest of Pratt & Whitney’s Global Service Network, which includes over 50 owned and designated engine and auxiliary power unit facilities. Check out the interactive map to view their locations.

For more on this topic, read Airtime’s previous in-depth look at the DMF network and its benefits to customers, Designated Facilities Provide Local Access to Line Maintenance.