ATLANTA—The robust Embraer E-Jet market in the Americas is viewed as a promising aftermarket opportunity. According to Aviation Week data, 1,722 of the aircraft family will be in operation in North America and Latin America by the year 2028, representing a fleet growth of 1% for the decade across the two regions.
This fact led to UK-based AerFin, a specialist in aircraft end-of-life services, to build on its U.S. presence by opening a new facility close to Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport for the storage of E-Jet aircraft components.
Having begun operations last month, the AerFin facility will initially store around 200 E-Jet part numbers, comprised of actuators, valves, electronics, lighting and a large selection of high-demand component line replaceable units (LRUs) found on the Brazilian-made aircraft.
Chris Hooley, AerFin’s director of component and airframe services, says the company will eventually look to increase the volume of equipment stored at the site as it steps up its market penetration in the Americas. “However, the inventory located at this facility will be strictly ringfenced and dedicated exclusively to the North and South American market,” he adds.
Hooley describes the company adding a physical presence in Atlanta as a move to building on its already established U.S. network. Before its Atlanta facility, AerFin already had a series of logistics and freight arrangements, along with a network of contracted MROs and OEM service divisions managing its units across the U.S.
He says that the decision to stock inventory in the city was a logical choice for the company not only due to the Georgia state capital’s extensive transportation network but also its airport serving as a large regional hub in the U.S.
Speaking about the set up of the center, Hooley says: “Opening the facility in Atlanta was a streamlined process, once the initial work of identifying the optimum components to ship and store in the warehouse--and establishing the correct processes and logistics for implementation,” Hooley says.
On the topic of moving parts, Hooley says the process of relocating stock to the U.S. is well under way. AerFin’s expectation is that its full capacity at Atlanta will be ready by mid-April. However, owing to planned regular reviews of the stock holding, he says the movement of additional inventory into Atlanta to be an ongoing project.
However, given AerFin’s large parts volume located in its main components pool close to London Gatwick Airport, the company had to identify exactly which parts were immediately fit to relocate from London to Atlanta. “Due to the extensive quantity of inventory held at our facilities in the UK, not all parts identified for relocation were in a serviceable condition,” Hooley says. “Therefore, in some cases we’ve had to route units for repair and then ship directly to our facility in Atlanta,” he adds.
“The storage and logistics facility provides AerFin with a sound platform to build upon our existing USA network and increase our footprint in the region,” he says. The company also has goals in place for the next year too. “Our immediate goal is to target a broader range of operators primarily on the E-Jet platform to provide ad-hoc component support, including AOG coverage,” adds Hooley.