Friday's Fast 5: Philippe Fournadet, Tarmac Aerosave's CEO

Founded by Airbus, Safran Aircraft Engines (nee Snecma) and Suez to take care of aircraft end of life, Tarmac Aerosave began operations seven years ago. CEO Philippe Fournadet talks about the newly obtained Part 147 approval for maintenance training, and near-term development.

What is Tarmac Aerosave's business model today?

The dismantling business accounts for 20-25% of our revenues. The rest comes from aircraft storage and maintenance. We are investing to offer the owner all the services he needs when its aircraft is in the transition period from one operator to another, without having to move the aircraft. The last service we lacked was painting. A paint shop for widebodies will be ready late next year at our Tarbes, France headquarters.

How has your business model evolved since the creation of the company?

Initially, in 2009, we were thinking dismantling would account for 30% of the revenues but this does not make a big difference with the aforementioned percentage. What has not changed is our will to maximize the value of the dismantled aircraft. We measure it with the recycled percentage of the all-equipped aircraft's weight. We have hit 90% and will increase this to 94% by year-end. Despite the downward trend in metal prices, we keep sorting metal alloys – we have developed effective tools.

Before applying for Part 147, did you identify a need?

Our priority is to train our people. We are growing fast – we had 70 employees three years ago and now have 200. And we keep hiring. Under our new Part 147 agreement, we can easily train 50 technicians per year in our facilities. So far, our maintenance training organization is targeted at meeting our own needs but we might open to third-party students. Tarmac Aerosave may deliver type ratings for Airbus A320, A330, A340 and Boeing B737-600/700/800/900 families, as well as mandatory training.

How do you spread activity between Tarbes and Teruel, Spain?

The two sites wil eventually be on an equal footing. A customer will be offered the same services, with the same tools. But, as Teruel is still young (we started up the site in 2013-2014), a major modification job would today still be assigned to Tarbes. A combined 100 aircraft or so are now stored in Tarbes and Teruel.

What are your plans for development?

In Teruel, a new narrowbody hangar will be available in early 2017. In Tarbes, new investment is underway, including storage space to accommodate 20 more widebodies by mid-2017 and a paint shop able to accommodate widebodies – including the A380 – which will be operational at the end of 2017.

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