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TAP Branches into LEAP Support in New Licensing Era

The Portuguese airline maintenance business has entered into a general support license agreement with LEAP engine maker CFM International.

TAP Maintenance & Engineering has taken the first step towards CFM LEAP support with the signing of a general support license agreement with the manufacturer.

Under the deal, TAP will receive CFM training and join the aftermarket network for the LEAP engine.

In 2016, parent airline TAP Portugal ordered 79 LEAP-1A engines to power a fleet of 37 Airbus A320neo/A321neo aircraft. It took delivery of the first three aircraft earlier in 2018.

“This agreement is of great importance for TAP, as it will allow us to maintain the flexibility and high operational levels of the TAP fleet, as well as providing us with an equally relevant service offer for third parties in the market,” said Mario Faria, TAP’s chief technical officer.

It is unclear whether CFM’s recent agreement with IATA to open up the aftermarket for CFM56 and LEAP engines had any influence on the terms of TAP’s specific license agreement, but licensees in general should receive a significantly better service.

For example, in the IATA agreement CFM promises to provide MRO licenses to anyone who wants to maintain its engines without any restrictions on where the licensee sources material or repairs.

The OEM will also sell parts and services to all licensees, irrespective of whether they utilise non-OEM parts or repairs, and also agrees not to remove any standard repair from any version of the engine shop manual, unless there is a technical reason to do so. CFM has also said it will re-instate any such repairs it has removed.

“As part of CFM’s ongoing commitment, we will support TAP in its strategy to provide world-class support services, helping LEAP operators maintain a level of utilization which sets a benchmark in our industry,” said Gaël Méheust, president and CEO of CFM International.

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