MRO Milestones In October: EC Inquiry To Delta First

MRO grabbed headlines this month--from the European Commission's inquiry of the aviation aftermarket to aircraft check milestones and hangar openings.

Lots of big news in MRO this month, so here's a summary of some of the top MRO milestones: 

The European Commission (EC) in Brussels confirms that it is taking a close look at the competitive landscape for MRO services in the European Union. In a statement, the regulator says it “is closely monitoring competitive conditions as regards maintenance of engines and components of large commercial aircraft.” As part of the process, the EC is sending questionnaires to relevant companies to learn more about how they develop maintenance contracts. Documents seen by Aviation Week say the commission is investigating “alleged anti-competitive behavior” related to MRO services on large commercial aircraft. The documents also reveal that there are at least two versions of the questionnaire, one focusing on engines and the other on components.

Adria Tehnika completed its 1,000 aircraft check at its fifth anniversary. It operates 7,000 sq. meters of space at Ljubljana airport in Slovenija. It is certified to maintain the Bombardier CRJ and Airbus A320 aircraft families.

Delta TechOps became the first Rolls-Royce approved maintenance center for Trent engines not owned in any way by the OEM. When Delta Air Lines signed a $5 billion contract with Rolls-Royce to supply Trent engines to power 25 Airbus A350s and 25 A330neos last year, it also sought gaining maintenance approval for those engines as part of the “ancillary support that comes with those selections,” says Jack Arehart, Delta TechOps MRO Services president. 

Lufthansa Technik opened its new narrowbody facility in Puerto Rico and will officially inaugurate it on Nov. 1.

AAR’s facility in Duluth, Minn., completed the 200th aircraft for Air Canada, which was the launch customer for that facility the MRO opened in November 2012. Hard to believe it was just 3 years ago when Aveos, Air Canada’s primary MRO provider, abruptly shuttered its doors. Northwest Airlines built the big hangar but it was empty for a few years until AAR purchased it.

Aircraft Propeller Service opened a new propeller system MRO in Lake Zurich, Ill., (U.S.) and plans to open others in Atibaia, Brazil and at Kuala Lumpur International Airport in Malaysia.

TAP Maintenance & Engineering’s Brazil division selected VAS Aero Service to be its exclusive aftermarket distributor of surplus material. The first group of parts included rotable components for Boeing aircraft. American Aero Group purchased VAS Aero about two months ago, which provided VAS access to $250 million additional capital.

Expect six Airbus A330-200s to need cabin renovation for Lufthansa after returning from leases. Lufthansa signed a deal with GE Capital Aviation Services (Gecas) to lease up to seven Airbus A330-200s through 2017—the first of which was delivered this month. The other six A330s are leased to other airlines. In a statement, Gecas and Lufthansa say their technical teams will manage the renovation process after the six aircraft's leases expire.

GE Aviation assembled its 1,000 GEnx engine. The engine, which powers the Boeing 747-8 and 787, has accumulated more than 5 million flight hours and 900,000 cycles with a 99.96 percent dispatch reliability rate.

Pegasus Airlines will fine tune its 737NG maintenance program with the help from Boeing’s Optimized Maintenance Program service, which examines historical maintenance data and looks at ways to reduce costs. It works with the airline and local regulatory authority to implement an approved program. Boeing Commercial Aviation Services launched this service three years ago.

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