Inside MRO News Briefs And Contracts, July 2018

New joint ventures and expansion in Asia and Eastern Europe by MRO providers are highlights of news briefs this month.

Highlights

AFI-KLM E&M Adds Leap Capabilities

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, executive vice president. 

Motivation for this move comes from the current wave of overhaul demand stemming from the Leap’s predecessor, the CFM56-5B/7B, a key element of AFI-KLM E&M’s sales last year. Leap overhauls will occur only from 2019 onward, and it will take longer for Leap maintenance demand to overtake that for the CFM56, but meanwhile there will be plenty of lighter maintenance work.

Boeing and Embraer Agree on Joint Venture

Following months of negotiations, Boeing and Embraer signed a memorandum of understanding to set up a joint venture comprising Embraer’s commercial aircraft and services business.

The non-binding agreement, announced July 5, sees Boeing take an 80% stake in the company while Embraer will control the remaining 20%. The companies expect the transaction to close by the end of 2019 following all shareholder and regulatory approvals, including by the Brazilian government.

The move would mark a transformational step for the aerospace industry and, with the Airbus-C Series deal, reduce the number of Western large commercial jet manufacturers to two from four. On July 1, Airbus took majority control of the Bombardier C Series program in the C Series Aircraft Limited Partnership. The consolidation process is also visible in the supply chain where large blocs controlling major parts of the aircraft, such as United Technologies, have strengthened.

Boeing says the joint venture will be “one of Boeing’s centers of excellence for end-to-end design, manufacturing and support of commercial passenger aircraft.”

Airbus and Thai Confirm MRO Joint Venture

Airbus and Thai Airways International will set up a new airframe MRO joint venture at U-Tapao International Airport in eastern Thailand.

About 140 km (87 mi.) from Bangkok in the Bang Chang District of Rayong Province, the U-Tapao facility will offer heavy maintenance and line services for all widebody aircraft types, including those of rival Boeing.

The MRO complex at the Thai government-led Eastern Economic Corridor will have specialized repair shops for composite structure along with investments in digital technologies for aircraft maintenance data analysis and advanced inspection techniques, including the use of drones to monitor airframes.

The site also will have a maintenance training center offering courses for technical staff from Thailand and overseas.

Redelivery of Aircraft Still Too Expensive

Excess spending on aircraft redeliveries has increased since 2016, chiefly due to engine costs, according to IBA. In a recent survey of 140 respondents, about evenly split between lessors and lessees, IBA found that the redelivery process is still not started early enough, records and engines are causing problems, and there are major concerns about resources, liquidity and returns.

The primary reasons for late redeliveries include unscheduled repairs and failed borescope inspections, cited by 28% of respondents, and initial underestimation of redelivery efforts, also cited by 28%. Next comes late engagement, at 20%, and technical teams preoccupied with flying, not returning, cited by nearly 15%. Less important causes of late returns include contract disagreements and bad communication.

Contracts

AerFin signed a five-year contract with IKAR (Pegas Fly) to provide component support for seven Embraer 190s under its Beyond Pool program.

AJW Group signed a contract with Allegiant to provide Airbus A320 component support (100 aircraft by 2020) out of Montreal.

AJW also signed a long-term PBH component support contract with Cambodia Airways for up to 20 A320-family aircraft.

Czech Airlines Technics was selected by American Airlines for the Boeing 767‑300ER, Cyprus Airways (Airbus A319), Air Cairo (A320) and Go2Sky (737-400 lease from Czech Airlines) to provide line maintenance services at Vaclav Havel Airport in Prague.

LOT Aircraft Maintenance Services (LOTAMS) won a KLM Cityhopper contract to provide heavy maintenance for 26 Embraer E-Jets.

Monarch Aircraft Engineering secured an Air Transat contract to provide Airbus A310/A330 line maintenance at Glasgow, Scotland.

OEMServices of France was selected by U.S.-based Whippany Actuation Systems to provide maintenance and repair for its electromechanical actuation component systems/subsystems for civil/military operators in the Middle East, Africa and Russia.

Thai Airways International signed a cooperation agreement with Rolls-Royce to provide Trent maintenance at Bangkok.

Turkish Technic was selected by Ukraine International Airlines to perform maintenance on two Boeing 767s.

Commercial Aircraft Interiors says its on-site team at SR Technics in Zurich has completed a project to provide technical support for interior reconfiguration of an AerCap
Boeing 777-200 (28685; ex-Privilege Style) being leased to Ukraine International Airlines.

LIMCO Airepair extended a thermal component maintenance contract with an unidentified MRO for five years in an $18 million deal.

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