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Me & My Aircraft: Reliability among Global positives
There are Globals in 26 countries around Europe and the Middle East, often as a solus corporate aircraft, but also in larger charter and management fleets. Swiss-based Global Jet Concept has examples of the original model, the XRS and the 5000, while ExecuJet and Comlux also have mixed fleets.

There are Globals in 26 countries around Europe and the Middle East, often as a solus corporate aircraft, but also in larger charter and management fleets. Swiss-based Global Jet Concept has examples of the original model, the XRS and the 5000, while ExecuJet and Comlux also have mixed fleets.

In our survey, the Global family of aircraft received nothing but praise from EBAN reader operators for its operating capabilities, with which all are very satisfied. Some were also very satisfied with the maintenance support, but it is here where opinions vary considerably.

One Global 5000 operator, who prefers his name is not reported, was unhappy with maintenance support, saying: "There have been a lot of issues that we have had with the aircraft such as the CES (cabin electronics system), galley counter tops and so on." He considers the maintenance costs to be high, and says that some items have needed repeated attention.

He points to poor interior completion, and items improperly designed or installed (such as the vertical blinds in the cabin). "The owners drive Rolls-Royces and Mercedes and expect similar quality and reliability, and they are not getting it," he adds.

The local Bombardier representative, however, is "excellent", and the best attributes of the aircraft are its speed, field performance, passenger comfort and quiet cabin, he says.

Oleg Gurov of Springline also has experience of the Global 5000 and confirms that maintenance issues are his greatest concern, but he enjoys the range and comfort. It is "loved by owner and pilots," he reports.

Faisal Haddadin of Dallah Albaraka expresses similarly positive feelings towards his Global Express, being very satisfied with its every aspect but especially its range. The only negatives, the relative few pilot training centres and steep costs.

Hans Pfeiffer of Triple Alpha GmbH is currently working on ETOPS 180 approval and finds the Global Express to be a "very reliable aircraft in every way." He points to the good cabin size and range, but casts envious eyes at the enhanced crew rest area of the XRS model, which he considers to be "outstanding".

The same thought had occurred to Martin Lener of Tyrolean Jet Service, whose Global Express features an XRS compliant cabin, modified for increased cabin pressure. The company provides its own Part 145 maintenance, and reports that early problems with spare parts availability six years ago have been rectified. The best aspects of the aircraft, he says, are the clean sheet design, state-of-the-art concept, high dispatch reliability and improved customer support.

Another European operator, with experience of both the original Global Express and XRS models, begs to differ on some points and, despite being satisfied with maintenance support, says that some spares are not readily available. "With multiple redundancy despatch is OK, but for an AOC aircraft with little flexibility in the minimum equipment list there are many 'stoppers'," he told EBAN. The worst thing about the aircraft is: "Reliability, reliability and reliability."

But he praises the aircraft's "great short field capability and awesome performance over long ranges". The best attributes are its cabin comfort, which is spacious and quiet at all speeds, environmental control and brakes which are "second to none". The most desirable upgrade, he feels, are the Electronic Flight Bag and the third FMS.

The last, albeit anonymous word, goes to one EBAN reader whose views of his XRS were typical of the replies, showing him to be very satisfied with dispatch reliability and operating capability, and satisfied with maintenance support and value. So how do you improve a great aircraft? "By adding the new BR725 engine now fitted on the Gulfstream G650," he says.

Manufacturer's comment

Bombardier has developed an integrated service and support plan focused on the key areas of aircraft reliability, 24-hour worldwide support, AOG parts, service and maintenance support and customer training. It says: "The focus is on the customer.

"We continually monitor the growth and location of our installed base and invest in these specific areas as required. Over the last two years, for all business aircraft, we invested over US$25m in stocking the top 25 high-demand parts, added two new simulators in the UK and the Middle East, opened a new service centre in Dallas, added or expanded over 20 authorised facilities, launched two state-of-the-art customer response centres and introduced an airborne parts delivery service (PartsExpress). We will maintain similar level of investments in our service and support over the next five years."

In 2007, Bombardier introduced a 24-7 customer response centre (CRC) in Montreal for Challenger and Global Jets. The company says: "Owners and operators can contact the CRC at any time for fast resolution of aircraft-on-ground situations, parts ordering and technical support."

The company adds: "Bombardier surveys its operators periodically to identify improvement opportunities. For the Global family, we have a Global advisory committee that provides continuous feedback. This advisory committee is made up of over 25 maintenance and operational personnel from our current customer base. The committee meets with Bombardier twice a year to improve the operation, maintenance, service and support of Bombardier Global series business aircraft."

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