Inside MRO News Briefs And Contracts - February 2019

Aeromexico, GOL and Rolls-Royce among the companies making MRO news this month.

Highlights

Aeromexico To Start 787 In-house C2 Checks

Given the success of launching in-house C checks for its Boeing 787s in 2018, Aeromexico plans to start its first C2 check for the aircraft later this year. Aeromexico operates 17 787s and performs line maintenance to support its operation—not heavy maintenance—so it has set up a special product line for these C checks. However, based on its estimated 50% savings from doing these in-house, it seemed logical to do the C2s as well, says David Nakamura, senior vice president for engineering, planning and technical services. Nakamura says the airline is considering setting up a permanent line for the C checks but would need a commitment of about 15 more 787s to make that nose-to-tail line efficient, so it is talking with other carriers to see if there is interest.

GOL Plans To Offer Third-Party MRO

GOL Linhas Aereas Inteligentes is in the process of setting up its maintenance division as GOL MRO to start offering its services to external customers. Its first offering to third parties will be Boeing 737 maintenance starting in 2020, said Carlos Alberto Costa, GOL MRO’s maintenance director, who spoke at Aviation Week’s MRO Latin America event on Jan. 16.

He estimates that 100,000 labor-hours will be available initially at its facility, which can hold up to six narrowbodies, including one for paint, in Confins, Minas Gerais, in the southeast of Brazil.

As part of the process of transforming the airline’s maintenance division into a stand-alone MRO business, the carrier is closely looking at its operation to make the necessary changes to facilitate third-party work. Part of that involves inputting GOL aircraft as if they were from outside customers. Costa says GOL MRO is now working on its third aircraft in that manner and hopes to have all of the processes, procedures and staffing requirements in place by the middle of this year.

Costa also says GOL MRO plans to start adding other aircraft model capabilities for third-party MRO in 2021, followed potentially by widebody heavy checks in 2022.

In addition, the operation is seeking partners to help it expand its component capabilities—preferably for components that could have high volumes of repairs and would not require sizable up-front investments such as those needed for landing gear or auxiliary power units.

When asked if GOL MRO could be spun off into a separate entity, Costa said that could be a possibility but that it is “not decided” at this time.

Redesigned Trent 1000 Compressor Blade Certified

Rolls-Royce says it has certified a redesigned intermediate-pressure (IP) compressor blade for Package C variants of the Trent 1000 engine that powers the Boeing 787.

Both the FAA and the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) have certified the redesigned blade, and bulletins were issued to 787 operators by Rolls-Royce and Boeing in late December, the engine manufacturer announced Jan. 10.

The redesign was prompted by the discovery of a durability issue within the blades of an IP compressor rotor.

Although the company has invested heavily in additional engineering capacity to perform the inspections, dozens of 787s remain on the ground, engineless at airports worldwide, prompting airlines to adjust their timetables or bring in additional capacity to maintain flight schedules.
Rolls-Royce says it hopes that the introduction of the new blade will alleviate the number of 787s currently subject to aircraft-on-ground events as well as relieve the maintenance burden and operational restrictions.

Contracts

Lufthansa Technik and Japan Airlines entered into a long-term agreement on total component support for the carrier’s Airbus A350s. The new 10-year contract covers the majority of JAL’s A350 components.

ATR has secured a global maintenance agreement from Braathens Regional Airlines to support 10 ATR 72-600s.

C&L Aviation Services won an Embraer Netherlands (ENL) contract to provide ERJ maintenance and overhaul, interior refurbishments, painting and other services. ENL performs the asset management of the Embraer commercial aircraft portfolio.

International Aero Engines signed an eight-year service agreement with JetSmart to maintain the carrier’s fleet of V2500-powered A320ceos. The contract has an optional extension to 10 years.

KLM UK Engineering extended its heavy maintenance contract with West Atlantic UK for its 737-400Fs, starting in February.

Pratt & Whitney has signed an EngineWise comprehensive service agreement with Binter Canarias covering the carrier’s three Embraer 195-E2s powered by PW1900G engines.

Avolon chose Rolls-Royce to provide its LifeKey asset management solution as part of the LessorCare support program.

TrueAero closed on four ex-Air Canada Embraer 190s and one Embraer 170 Ex-Buta Airways aircraft for teardown at Ascent in Arizona.

Vertex Aerospace secured a $35 million U.S. Air Force contract to provide C-12 (B1900) contractor logistics support at more than 20 locations.

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