Having secured a long-term support agreement with Southwest Airlines for support of its full-authority digital engine control, BAE Systems is looking to secure other long-term arrangements with airlines to support its airliner electronics.

Although Southwest was the first big customer for the new business effort, BAE Systems vice president for Commercial Avionics, Ehtisham Siddiqui says the work is not tied to a particular airline business model. Southwest’s reputation for cost consciousness should help convince other airlines to follow its lead, he says on the sidelines of Aviation Week’s MRO Europe conference.

The activity will not necessarily increase the business unit’s share of aftermarket revenue – it now represents 40% of turnover – but will make for longer-term and more stable business relationships as service agreements replace more ad hoc spares purchasing.

BAE Systems has more than 400 different line replaceable electronic units primarily on Boeing aircraft.

Siddiqui notes that the company also is looking to expand its footprint in the commercial aircraft sector. Embraer, in particular, is eyed as a potential target. BAE Systems already has existing relationships with the Brazilian aircraft maker, for instance in the supply of the fly-by-wire system for the Legacy 450 and Legacy 500 business jets now in development.

Meanwhile, the company also is looking to see its Attendant Control Panel – part of the Boeing 737 Sky Interior package – make its way into the aftermarket segment. The Sky Interior is currently ordered as a forward fit, but Richard Morrow, business development director for the BAE Systems unit says talks with several airlines are underway also for retrofit of the system.