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Lessons From Farnborough For Engine Maintenance

The opening days of Farnborough 2016 have underlined the power of large engine manufacturers in the aftermarket, though choice remains for narrowbody maintenance.

Rolls-Royce, for instance, won orders from Gulf Air for Trent 1000s to power 10 787-9s, and from Virgin Atlantic for Trent XWBs to equip 12 A350-1000s. Both were attached to long-term, TotalCare maintenance agreements.

GE, meanwhile, welcomed decisions by Emirates and Austrian to extend and expand their TrueChoice contracts, which provide flight-hour-based support for both airlines’ GE90 powerplants.

Additionally, GE demonstrated OEMs’ increasing flexibility towards older engines by signing an extension to a mixed flight-hour and time-and-materials contract for CF6 engines on Turkish Airlines’ A330 aircraft.

In contrast, maintenance deals have been hard to spot in the roster of engine orders at CFM. New commitments for 283 LEAP-1As were signed with TAP and AirAsia at Farnborough, but neither came with integrated support, nor did more than a billion-dollars-worth (at list prices) of CFM56 orders from

Wow Air, CALC, AWAS and Standard Chartered, though lessors rarely find such deals in their interest.

It was a similar story at Pratt & Whitney, whose Farnborough announcement of PW1100 orders for 30 Germania A320neos didn’t cover maintenance.

On the other hand, Air Europa and Asiana did sign long-term support deals as part of their orders for CFM LEAP engines to power 20 737 MAXs and 25 A321neos, respectively.

Lufthansa Technik is taking no chances either way, having signed agreements with Pratt and GE to support the geared turbofan, GE9X and GEnx-2B – the latter two engines under a joint-venture overhaul project with GE, which described its “continued effort to expand maintenance choice and shop capacity for customers operating the latest generation of engines”.

It will be interesting to see how many MRO providers with less muscle than Lufthansa Technik get to be part of that effort.

TAGS: Airframes
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