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Inside MRO News Briefs And Contracts (June, 2019)

Emirates AOG parts service takes off; Southwest mechanics finally approve contract; top MRO news this month.

HIGHLIGHTS

Emirates Sees Demand for AOG Parts Service

Dubai-based Emirates SkyCargo has seen strong orders for its “Emirates AOG” time-critical aircraft parts shipping service, with a further 20% growth anticipated for 2019.

Emirates AOG, launched in April 2018, aims to ship parts quickly, minimizing aircraft downtime and lost revenue when spares and components are not immediately available. “Since the product launch last year, we have transported over 800,000 kg [1.7 million lb.] of AOG components. In terms of the number of shipments, this is just shy of 1,000,” Dennis Lister, Emirates vice president of cargo commercial development, tells Inside MRO.

Lister expects the AOG business to increase by about 20% in the coming year, based on 2018-19 numbers and customer feedback.

Southwest and Mechanics Agree to Contract

Mechanics for Southwest Airlines, represented by the Aircraft Mechanics Fraternal Association (AMFA), have voted to ratify a new contract through 2024, ending more than six years of contentious negotiations that led to multiple rounds of public finger-pointing and lawsuits between the two sides.

The union says the new agreement is a “massive increase” from the tentative agreement its members overwhelmingly rejected in September 2018, as well as a “significant increase” from Southwest’s previous proposal earlier this year. It also confirms that the biggest concession was to allow the company to continue foreign outsourcing.

The agreement will provide mechanics a base wage increase of 20%, as well as a ratification bonus of $160 million and a smoothed base rate increase of 2.78% going back to 2012. The deal will become amendable by August 2024.

Southwest filed a lawsuit against AMFA in February, alleging the union’s leadership had orchestrated a work slowdown by driving up maintenance write-ups on the airline’s Boeing 737s. AMFA maintained at the time that the sudden spike in write-ups was tied to several in-service events, such as a jump in weather-related damage, and underscored that each issue mechanics discovered was documented.

Last Commercial Tu-134 Grounded in Russia

Russia’s Alrosa Airline performed the last flight with its Tupolev Tu-134B on May 20, the last aircraft of the type in Russia used for scheduled commercial passenger service. The airline carried 70 passengers from its base in Mirny, Yakutia Republic, to Irkutsk in Eastern Siberia.

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The Tu-134B, with registration number RA-65693, was manufactured in 1980 and will be delivered to the aerospace museum in Novosibirsk.  

The airline announced plans to ground the Soviet-built aircraft more than a year ago, due to its high fuel consumption and maintenance costs.

CONTRACTS

AFI KLM E&M was selected by Air Tahiti Nui to provide engine and component support, APS5000 APU support (by EPCOR), plus line maintenance at Los Angeles, Tokyo Narita and Paris Charles de Gaulle airports for its four GEnx-powered Boeing 787-9s.

Antavia was chosen to provide wheel and brake maintenance for the Airbus Beluga XL. The MRO has previously serviced other oversize transport aircraft for Airbus, including the Super Guppy and BelugaST.

Cardiff Aviation was selected by TUI Airways to provide cabin reconfigurations and end-of-lease phase-out checks, plus engine and landing gear replacements, for 17 Boeing 737NGs, 757s and 767s, some of which are returning from wet-lease to Sunwing.

EPCOR (AFI KLM E&M) has won a Gulf Air contract to provide APS5000 APU maintenance for 10 787-9s.

Magnetic MRO was selected by Finnair to perform base maintenance, interior refurbishment and exterior paint on 12 ATR 72-500s operated by Norra. The first finished aircraft was redelivered on May 8, and the project is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2020.

Rolls-Royce won a contract from Fiji Airways to provide the TotalCare engine maintenance program for two Trent-powered Airbus A350-900s.

S7 Technics completed a C check of a Boeing 737-800 for Globus Airlines at Novosibirsk. The work included fuel tank structure inspections.

Turkish Technic was selected by Air Astana to provide power-by-the-hour  component support for Airbus A320ceos and A320neos. 

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