While much of the MRO industry's focus this week has been on developments in and news announcements from Dubai in concert with Aviation Week Network's MRO Middle East event there, Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) has been concentrating a substantial amount of attention on bolstering its presence in China.
AFI KLM E&M has established a dedicated Airbus A350 XWB component-support logistics centre under the same roof near Hongqiao International Airport (Shanghai's main domestic airport) as AFI KLM E&M Components China, the components repair workshop which the MRO group opened in Shanghai in 2013.
Describing the new logistics centre as providing "comprehensive A350 support capability", AFI KLM E&M intends to use the facility for local support serving Chinese airlines' A350 XWB fleets, along with the fleets of A350 XWBs operated by other carriers throughout the Asia-Pacific region.
As of now, orders for several dozen A350 XWBs have been placed by leading Chinese carriers, according to AFI KLM E&M.
A February 9 news release announcing the new Shangai A350 XWB component-support center quotes Vincent d'Andrea, the group's SVP component product support, saying of the new Shanghai facility: “AFI KLM E&M bases the operational and economic competitiveness of its support on maintaining a doorstep presence for its clients via local facilities. In rolling out this logistics extension to AFI KLM E&M Components China and expanding the engineering capabilities of our repair shop, we aim to deliver optimum, fast-track component support solutions fully adapted to the needs of China's A350 operators.”
According to AFI KLM E&M, development of the new logistics centre, which includes a regional components pool, reflects AFI KLM E&M's aim to offer high-end, competitive component support in the China market.
The logistics facility will include a warehouse for storing A350 XWB components and will manage AFI KLM E&M's intra-China shipments, in order to provide proximity and fast-track responses to A350 XWB operators' needs for serviceable spares.
Its storage procedures will be compliant with Chinese requirements, according to AFI KLM E&M.
The support facility and logistics-support platform the group is establishing in China will also rely on air cargo capacity provided by Air France KLM and AFI KLM E&M's logistics partners on domestic and international flights serving Shanghai and major Chinese hubs.
Its new service centre will operate as the bridgehead for AFI KLM E&M's A350 XWB support network in China, allowing further deployment of logistics solutions at A350 XWB operators' own MRO facilities.
According to AFI KLM E&M, its new A350 XWB component-support logistics centre is fully integrated with the group's existing support network, including similar service centres it already operates in Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Ho Chi Minh City.
Describing itself as “a major player on the A350 market”, AFI KLM E&M provides comprehensive component and material support for A350 XWB operators located in Asia, Europe, North America and South America.
AFI KLM E&M employs a workforce of more than 14,000 people globally and provides a comprehensive range of technical support and MRO services for a total of almost 1,500 aircraft, operated by 200 major international and domestic airlines.