SINGAPORE--Malaysia Airlines Berhad’s engineering group brought Airbus A380 C checks inhouse this year and has dropped its turnaround time from 74 days for its first, completed in May, to 70 days for its second. The third C3 check is underway with a target of 60 days, says Eke Nazri Bin Rahim, head of airline engineering, speaking at MRO Asia-Pacific.
Bringing this work inhouse is part of the airline MRO’s transformation process, which started in 2014 after two well-publicized aircraft losses and financial instability, which resulted in Malaysian government takeover to restructure the carrier.
The airline MRO used to be a formidable MRO player in Asia-Pacific before the hull losses and hopes to rebuild and position itself to become a preferred global MRO by 2023.
To do this, it needed to reinvent itself. Part of that came from the realization that it needed to change from a culture that was simply complying with regulations to becoming a performance-based organization, says Nazir.
One step was looking at its business processes and practices, some of which were too complex. “We really looked at all of the processes to improve efficiencies and deliver results,” he says.
This also required adopting a new software system, which happens on Dec. 3 when the airline’s AMOS system goes live.
But the airline MRO’s leadership knew changing software alone wasn’t enough, so it evaluated its staff’s skill sets, development needs and leadership succession to “bring engineering and maintenance to the next stages,” says Nazir. Coupled with this, the airline knew to be relevant to the industry, it not only needed to perform on consistent turnaround times, quality and cost, but it also needed new technology capabilities and capacities.
The next step is looking at additional work, such as component MRO, which could be done inhouse. To that, Nazri says the airline MRO will need a partner—options of which it is looking into.
It’s also looking at a Big Data strategy so it can implement predictive maintenance. As reported in Inside MRO, the carrier is introducing Airbus' Skywise program. Nazir says its Big Data strategy will evolve after its AMOS ERP system goes live, which is critical to going paperless and feeding the data needed for predictive maintenance—both of which are 2019 priorities.
For now, MAB Engineering is operating out of two hangars, Hangar five and six, which have seven lines of capacity. However, those can be leaned to accommodate 11 to accommodate third-party MRO. But for now, as its transformation continues, it is focusing on line maintenance for third-party operators.