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Rolls-Royce Grows Lessor Focus

Engine maker looks to leasing operators and owners of its Trent engines for aftermarket growth.

For Rolls-Royce this January, it’s a case of new year, new offering. On Tuesday (Jan 24.), the British engine manufacturer unveiled the latest addition to its aftermarket services portfolio with a program tailored for lessors.

Called LessorCare, the program covers all Trent engine types and has a premise of simplicity through being available as one agreement, and flexibility by allowing customers to adapt levels of service through the life of the engine.

Rolls-Royce has enlisted Ireland-headquartered lessor AerCap to assist with the design and introduction with an intention for a full roll-out later in 2017. It covers three primary areas: customer support, transition services and asset management.

According to Dominic Horwood, director, customers and services – civil aerospace at Rolls-Royce, the advent of LessorCare is a recognition of the importance of lessors, with the move described as the “the next step” for the firm. Given the current market landscape, and the prevalence of companies demanding more flexibility, the program’s introduction seems a logical one.

With services a key component in the company’s aerospace revenues, increasing attention towards the leasing market could present a strong opportunity. This could be even more apparent if, as predicted in some circles, 50% of the global aircraft fleet in the next 10 to 15 years is comprised of leased jets. Naturally, a healthy percentage of the global fleet will be Rolls-Royce engines on lease.

It's been apparent for some time that OEMs are becoming more focused in their aftermarket intentions – think back to the announcements by aircraft makers Boeing and Embraer towards the end of 2017 both targeting service growth opportunities. Already a dominant player in the engine aftermarket segment, Rolls-Royce’s latest play is a further demonstration of the company's proclivity to switch up its services in recent times.

One year ago, it introduced SelectCare, an aftermarket package focusing on operators of mature engines which also came with the premise of offering flexibility. The program’s first customer was American Airlines and its RB211-535 engines powering its fleet of 757 aircraft. It has since added fellow U.S. carrier Delta and Icelandair to its SelectCare ranks. It also made a raft of changes to its approved service center network.

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