Printed headline: A380 MRO in Abu Dhabi
Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering have inaugurated joint A380 MRO services at Etihad’s heavy maintenance center in Abu Dhabi, with the commencement of an Airbus A380 six-year C check for Lufthansa. The workscope slated for the mega-transport includes major structural checks, along with mandatory service bulletin work.
“Etihad Airways Engineering is experienced with providing line, light and heavy maintenance services around the clock, including design, advanced composite repair, cabin refurbishment and component services, from its state-of-the-art facility adjacent to Abu Dhabi International Airport,” says Bruno James, head of business development and projects for Airbus customer services. “Airbus provides a dedicated working party and Airbus parts on-site.”
Announced at this year’s Dubai Airshow, the joint A380 MRO services collaboration was agreed to in November 2016 by Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering.
“The partnership established A380 maintenance, engineering and upgrade capabilities in Abu Dhabi to [deliver] third-party support for airlines’ A380 fleets by providing them with efficient turnkey solutions,” James notes. “Under the partnership, Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering combine their respective skills to offer a value-added MRO service solution for worldwide A380 operators under one roof, including heavy maintenance checks and upgrade installations.”
The Abu Dhabi location, he points out, also will provide additional outsourcing opportunities to those A380 operators that already have in-house MRO capability but whose own facilities are fully booked and need to offload some heavy checks and upgrades to an Airbus-approved third-party facility.
James adds that Etihad Airways Engineering, the largest commercial aircraft MRO provider in the Middle East, will be capable of working on up to three A380s simultaneously. “It will boost the global A380 MRO aftermarket, giving operators more choice for heavy A380 MRO airframe services,” he says. “The Airbus-Etihad Airways Engineering collaboration will also leverage the MRO’s experience maintaining Etihad Airways’ A380 fleet, which is one of the world’s largest.”
Etihad Airways Engineering is one of 12 MROs worldwide with A380 C check capabilities and is part of the Airbus MRO Alliance (AMA), officially launched at the June 2017 Paris Air Show. While the partnership is now focusing exclusively on A380 heavy maintenance, James says the collaboration could be expanded to other Airbus products to meet market demand.