Franco-Dutch maintenance provider AFI KLM E&M has received FAA approval to provide on-wing and on-site services for CFM LEAP engines.
The scope of that work may include engine build-ups, borescope inspections, or changing line replaceable units.
“AFI KLM E&M is now approved to offer its services to all operators of the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B engines equipping the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX worldwide,” says Anne Brachet, EVP of the MRO provider.
AFI KLM E&M already has a similar approval from EASA and while that certificate is more relevant given the company’s far bigger line maintenance presence in Europe than in the US, the FAA award is further demonstration of its commitment to new-technology engine maintenance.
Motivation for this comes from the current wave of overhaul demand stemming from the LEAP’s predecessor, the CFM56-5B/7B, which was a key element of AFI KLM E&M’s sales last year. LEAP overhauls will only occur from 2019 onwards and it will take significantly longer for LEAP maintenance demand to overtake that of the CFM56, but in the meantime there will be plenty of lighter maintenance work.
Another factor is CFM’s willingness to open its aftermarket to third-party providers.
Although the OEM is capturing more of the LEAP maintenance market than it did on the CFM56, it has repeatedly stated its commitment to an “open” maintenance network.
“We’re establishing capabilities first and foremost in our own shops, on the GE side and the Safran side, but also, when customers are interested, we are working with third-party MRO providers,” CFM’s Alan Kelly told Engine Yearbook 2018.
CFM’s US site in Lafayette, Indiana was the first to be certified to provide MRO services on both the Leap-1A and Leap-1B variants.
On the Safran side the joint venture’s site in Brussels acts as the center of CFM’s initial MRO efforts for the LEAP-1A variant. A third shop in Saint Quentin, to the south of Paris, has been certified for the -1B.