MTU Maintenance Zhuhai confirmed it is now certified to repair CFM International LEAP -1A and -1B engines and it inducted its first one on Sept. 10.
The German MRO, along with its partner in the 50/50 Chinese joint venture China Southern Airlines, recently agreed to a deal with CFM for a General Support License Agreement (GSLA), typically assigned to companies by the OEM embarking on aftermarket services for its engines.
Other recent recipients of LEAP-related GSLA arrangements include TAP Portugal, which penned one for LEAP-1B maintenance in December 2018.
Preparations have been underway for LEAP services in Zhuhai throughout 2019, and have included the procurement of tooling and testing equipment, review of technical documents, employee training and acquisition of the necessary aviation authority approvals.
MTU Maintenance Zhuhai in China has also broken ground on the expansion of its facility, its second capacity increase in less than 10 years. Set to grow by 50%, the shop is expected to increase to 450 shop visits by 2021.
Aviation Week’s Fleet & MRO Forecast data projects a $69 billion MRO spend by 2028 for the LEAP engine, the long-term successor to the CFM56. Data projects more than 13,000 deliveries of the -1B variant over a 10-year period, with the engine powering the Boeing 737MAX aircraft program.
The -1A is forecast to have 8,222 deliveries over the same time period, while the -1C for China’s Comac C919 will see 406 deliveries, according to Aviation Week data.