S7 A320neo.jpg

S7 Underlines Growing MRO Capabilities

Competition from Russian MROs is increasing for Central and Eastern Europe-based maintenance providers.

“We do feel that the competition from Russian MROs has increased,” the chief executive of Lithuania-based FL Technics, Zilvinas Lapinskas, told MRO Network in a recent interview.

His opinion was lent further credence last week by the announcement that S7 Technics has completed its first heavy checks on Airbus A320neo aircraft.

Conducted at S7’s Moscow Domodedovo hangar, the C Check work was timed to include the 7,500-flight-hour, 5,000-flight-cycle and 24-month checks.

The company’s Novosibirsk Tolmachevo facility is set to perform A320neo heavy checks soon.

“We are getting ourselves ready for even heavier checks on this aircraft type that imply maintenance works at six-year intervals. Those mean more thorough checks of the airframe structural elements according to the manufacturer’s recommendations,” said Denis Bogdanov, S7 Technics’ leading engineer for airframes and engines.

S7 Airlines began flying the Pratt & Whitney PW1100G-powered A320neos in 2017.

Its maintenance arm performs third-party work for many operators in the region and in March signed a five-year deal to support Kazakh flag carrier Air Astana’s A320s and 767s.

Eyeing increasing MRO demand in the region, S7 Technics is considering expanding its base maintenance facilities and is upgrading its capabilities via partnerships. These include a second CFM56 engine shop in cooperation with SR Technics, and a venture with Honeywell to build a Moscow-based APU overhaul shop within two years.

Nonetheless, Lapinskas believes FL Technics is well-positioned to compete with S7 and other Russian MRO providers, despite the company’s shift away from Russian airlines as its main revenue source.

He adds that FL Technics will compete aggressively on turnaround times as it feels the benefits of new LEAN production methods the implementation of new IT systems.

Aviation Week Network's MRO Beer conference takes place in Vilnius, Lithuania from May 21-22.

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