AirAsia Plans Chinese MRO and Airline Venture
AirAsia’s bid for nominative determinism is nearing completion after the Kuala Lumpur-based carrier announced plans to expand into China.
“This Chinese venture represents the final piece of the AirAsia puzzle,” said CEO Tony Fernandes. “In just 16 years, we have successfully built a presence in Malaysia, Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, India and Japan, with China closing the loop on all major territories in Asia-Pacific.”
Under a memorandum of understanding with local government in Henan, in central China, and Everbright, a state-owned company, the parties will launch low-cost carrier AirAsia (China), invest in terminal and training facilities, and set up an MRO facility—all in Zhengzhou.
AirAsia and AirAsia X, its separately listed long-haul brand, fly to 15 destinations in China.
Honeywell MRO Service Gets First Airline
HNA Group subsidiary Hainan Airlines will become the first airline to use Honeywell’s GoDirect Maintenance Service program, which Honeywell has designed to use connectivity and data analytics to improve maintenance operations and reduce equipment downtime.
Under the terms of the agreement, Hainan Airlines and its subsidiary carriers will outfit more than 50 Airbus A330s with Honeywell’s Connected Auxiliary Power Unit (APU) predictive-maintenance service. Hainan Airlines itself operates 22 of the A330s involved, with its subsidiaries Hong Kong Airlines, Lucky Air, Tianjin Airlines and Beijing Capital Airlines operating the rest.
According to Honeywell, its Connected APU service will improve the fleet availability of the HNA Group carriers by identifying potential mechanical issues or failures in their A330s’ APUs before they happen.
Honeywell will also outfit more than 40 additional A330s ordered by HNA Group with its GoDirect Maintenance Service, taking to more than 90 the number of HNA Group-owned A330s that will eventually have Honeywell’s Connected APU capability.
The Honeywell 331-350C is the sole-source APU for all A330s.
Honeywell’s Connected APU service works by using an existing data connection on the aircraft to download APU maintenance and fault data to airline maintenance departments so that they can predict impending hardware failures.
Rockwell M&A Activity Muted in Short-Term
Rockwell Collins could see further acquisitions on the horizon, but any such deals in the next few years would be much smaller than its recent $8.6 billion takeover of interiors specialist B/E Aerospace.
The supplier made a commitment to ratings agencies that it will service a portion of the debt it took on in that deal, Rockwell Collins CEO Kelly Ortberg said. Therefore, the company does not expect any big acquisitions in the near-term.
“We’ll be out of the major [mergers and acquisitions] market for probably a couple years as we’re servicing our debt,” Ortberg told Inside MRO sister publication Aviation Daily during a press briefing at one of the company’s newly acquired facilities in Winston-Salem, North Carolina. The facility is one of three legacy B/E Aerospace sites there that focus on interiors work such as seat manufacturing and refurbishment.
AFI KLM E&M received a Congo Airways contract to perform C checks on two Airbus A320-200s (3362/3412); work will be performed in Casablanca, Morocco, at its Aerotechnic Industries joint-venture facility with Royal Air Maroc.
Airbus won a UPS contract to upgrade 52 Airbus A300-600Fs with new Honeywell Primus Epic-based avionics in 2020-22.
C&L Aviation Group ME renewed a Saab 340 maintenance deal with PenAir AK for another three years.
EFW launched Airbus A321 passenger-to-freighter conversion with a 14-pallet configuration on the main deck in addition to 10 on the lower deck.
EPCOR (AFI KLM E&M) won a Kenya Airways contract to provide APU maintenance support for Boeing 737NGs and 787s and Embraer 190s.
GA Telesis secured a consignment agreement from Volvo Aero Leasing for extensive inventory of Airbus/Boeing components.
Monarch Aircraft Engineering won a Sunwing Airlines contract to provide Boeing 737-800 line maintenance at Leeds Bradford Airport.
OEMServices won a 15-year Asiana contract to provide Airbus A350-900 component support; the first four aircraft are due by the end of 2017.
Precision has amended an STC to convert MD-87s into aerial firefighting tankers in conjunction with Erickson Aerotanker.
Precision Aircraft Solutions completed a passenger-to-freighter conversion on a sixth Boeing 757-200 for CargoJet; modification work was performed by Flightstar in Jacksonville, Florida.
SR Technics secured a 12-year Philippine Airlines contract to provide component maintenance for 45 Airbus A321s and 15 A330s.