Lufthansa Technik is preparing to add the LEAP-1A and -1B to its engine service portfolio.
“We will be one of the first non-OEM sources for LEAP MRO support, providing a competitive alternative to the OEM,” says Marc Schwabe, Head Of Business Development and Finance, Product Division Engine, at Lufthansa Technik in Hamburg. “We will offer the full range of MRO services for the LEAP engine, including on-wing support, quick-turns, minor and major shop visits; spare engines, and condition monitoring and engineering.”
The LEAP family is a product of CFM International--a 50/50 joint venture of GE Aviation and Safran of France. The new generation turbofan powers the Boeing 737 MAX, and is offered as an option on the Airbus A320neo.
“Right from the start of the A320neo developments, it was clear to us that we wanted to be a relevant player in the LEAP market, which we consider a key volume driver for future engine MRO demand,” says Schwabe. “Having secured the MRO licenses for the LEAP-1A and -1B, we now have dedicated engineering teams in place, covering the LEAP and developing added-value service solutions for our customers.”
Lufthansa Technik expects to induct its first LEAP engines at its Hamburg facility in 2019—depending upon availability of tooling. As Schwabe explains, the company has decided to service the LEAP in Hamburg, which is Lufthansa Technik’s home base “The infrastructure is there to accommodate the first wave of LEAP demand. In the long term, the LEAP will replace existing legacy engine types.”
Schwabe adds that while the focus is on Hamburg, LEAP customer support will also be an integral part of Lufthansa Technik’s Mobile Engine Services portfolio. Initially, he says, the company has invested in excess of 10-million Euros in its LEAP support program to service quick turns and carry out limited work-scopes to meet specific customer demands.
“We do not expect that a relevant volume of full performance shop visits will be required for at least 3-5 years,” says Schwabe. “Lufthansa Technik service packages will contain jointly developed tailored concepts for our customers’ needs, aiming to optimize the total cost of operation of the engine. Particularly, our high level of engineering know-how and expertise will be available to our customers to address technical issues occurring especially during the early stages of operations.”
Schwabe points out that Lufthansa Technik, in close cooperation with the OEM, will be positioned to develop new MRO procedures and technologies for the LEAP.
“Through GE’s CFM partnership, we are building on the long-standing and extensive relationship between Lufthansa Technik and GE—starting with the CF6-50 engine family—to establish a wide range of capabilities With the signing of the first CBSA (CFM Branded Service Agreement) in February 2018, Lufthansa Technik is able to offer a higher level of services—including sophisticated repairs—than we could with the general OEM license. Such an agreement is only available to CFM’s cooperation partners and provides much better access to the LEAP engine’s technological data and information.