AFI KLM E&M began its foray into the LEAP engine market after announcing the readiness of services last week but still foresees continued demand for CFM56-5 and -7 engines maintenance.
On Oct. 2, AFI KLM E&M announced it had implemented maintenance services for the 1-A and 1-B variants CFM International’s LEAP engine – options for the Airbus A320neo and the Boeing 737 MAX respectively.
Fabrice Defrance, senior vice president commercial at Air France Industries KLM E&M, says its ability to offer a selection of on-wing and on-site support along with shop visit capabilities are important developments for the engine’s operators and manufacturers alike.
“We will rapidly develop the on-wing services as the operators expect along with the manufacturers who are interested in airlines being satisfied with aircraft availability,” he told MRO-Network.com in London on Oct. 5. “This will require skilled staff being able to quickly fix a problem on-wing and this is why the service will be crucial for the success of both engine programs.”
Defrance says over time, he expects these services to develop into more extensive in-shop repair capabilities through offerings such as full engine overhauls.
However, with an eye on new engine services and the expectation that they will become more extensive, Defrance says the current-generation engine market such as variants of the CFM56 family will remain healthy.
He predicts “a huge workload” ahead for the -5 and -7 markets due to what he describes as Boeing’s “continued success” with its 737NG aircraft program.
“The CFM56-5 and CFM56-7 are key markets for us,” he says. “For the CFM56-5 market, Air France Industries has been focusing more on the expanding -5B in recent times as demand for -5A and -5C services have lowered by the year,” he says.
The component segment is providing opportunities for current and future generation aircraft alike. Also announced last week, AFI KLM E&M grew its coverage for new generation aircraft components with third-party airline customers by signing up LOT Polish Airlines for coverage.
The agreement, announced at MRO Europe on Oct. 4, covers the carrier’s future fleet of six Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.
Deliveries are expected to start next month with a scheduled completion for May 2019.
Under the terms of the contract, AFI KLM E&M will oversee MRO support for components, providing access to its spares pool and creating a main base kit at LOT's main hub in Warsaw.