AMSTERDAM—Pairing the designer and manufacturer of a new aircraft nacelle with an independent MRO for aftermarket support early in the program’s life might seem to be unusual, but this is what happened on Oct. 17 when Safran Nacelles signed an agreement with Lufthansa Technik to support Airbus A320neo nacelles at MRO Europe.
The companies will jointly develop and approve repairs, as well as invest several million euros in nacelle asset. Combined, these two actions are designed to offer airlines faster and cost-effective service options by introducing repairs and by optimizing material consumption across Safran’s and Lufthansa Technik’s warehouses, “allowing airlines to not invest in their own assets,” says Oliver Savin, Safran Nacelles’ executive VP, customer support and services.
“It’s getting even more important to get new aircraft back in the air quickly,” says Michael Kirstein, LHT senior director, aircraft systems, so supporting an airline from the nearest asset location is important.
Nacelles are maintained on-condition, so compared to a component with scheduled maintenance intervals, repair development tends to be more ad hoc. Under this cooperative agreement, Safran and Lufthansa Technik say they will develop repairs as needs arise and will offer parts for the entire nacelle—air inlet, fan cowls, thrust reverser and exhaust nozzles.
Savin and Kirstein says Safran and Lufthansa Technik could cooperate on other projects, with a possible announcement in the next quarter or two.
The A320neo has 6,178 firm orders from 103 customers, as of the end of September, according to Airbus.