ORLANDO--Miami-based Global Engine Maintenance’s (GEM) decision to introduce repair capabilities for the CFM56-7 in 2017 has made a noticeable contribution to its growth of the past year while seeing more demand on the engine’s other variants, according to its president and CEO.
Faryt Kalhil says the CFM56-7 added to the engine MRO and trader’s CFM56-3 and CFM56-5 engine services, markets he feels are even tighter in North America with a engines being snapped up at fast rates over the past year.
“There was a thought that when Southwest started retiring many older Boeing 737-500s, the market would then be flooded with CFM56-3 engines and a lot of airlines and operators would stop actually repairing them. Yet in the last year or so, there’s been an absolute drain of the engines out there. Most of the engines coming out of the Southwest fleets went on to be cannibalized so the available engines in the North America market have been scarce.”
Kalhil says as a result of the CFM56-3 shortfall, GEM has hardly seen any of the engine types in its facility over the past 10 months. “Every single engine we’ve repaired to sell has already been sold before the work was even finished,” he says. “The market for these engines has just been amazing.”
With the CFM56-7 market getting tighter, with some competitors offering six months lead times between slots, Kalhil nevertheless describes its market potential for MRO specialists as “humongous.”
“There’s going to be a lot of money spent over the next decade on the CFM56-7 repair and there are not all that many providers,” he says. “Our aim is to grow market share and service customers to a high standard and quickly.”
Another engine serviced by GEM, the Pratt & Whitney JTD8, is still generating some demand, but with its numbers in the global fleet dwindling as a result of MD-80 and older Boeing 737 retirements, Kalhil says it will still service legacy customers until the engine is eventually discontinued.
“We’ll do some JTD8 engines as long as customers are using them but that’s not our niche anymore,” he adds.