Nacelle systems, including thrust reversers, typically are considered on-condition maintenance and are big, bulky items that are not easy to ship, which is a reason Safran Nacelle’s life-cycle nacelle service programs launched last April are growing. Its newest, and tenth, contract comes from SriLankan Airlines and covers the Airbus A330ceo and A320/A321neo nacelles.
For the A330ceo nacelle structures for the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines, the contract covers access to a pool of thrust reversers and unscheduled repairs. The contract for A320/A321 nacelles for the CFM Leap-1A engines includes access to a pool of air inlets as well as unscheduled repairs.
The OEM, which manufactures the nacelles systems for these aircraft, will deliver the services through Aerostructures Middle East Services, its joint venture with AFI KLM E&M in Dubai.
Chafic Hanna-Daher, Safran Nacelles service director, says the three predominant programs the company has signed through its NacelleLife bundled service offerings pertain to the A330, A380 and A320neo. He expects to sign other contracts with Asian operators soon.
While NacelleLife solutions, which span entry into service to end of life, have garnered 10 contracts in less than a year, Hanna-Daher says Safran is looking at ways to improve the services further and to be cost competitive.
Some of the actions including looking into ways to deliver services faster, deliver services closer to customers and provide more customization. Especially for the narrowbodies, airlines can have very different operations and many want answers on the spot or within 48 hours, says Hanna-Daher, so “we’re putting a lot of effort on standardization for the common denominator activity,” including off-the-shelf guarantees, contracts, service levels and warranties, so the sales staff is equipped with the tools they need to expedite contracts.
Because it’s costly and time consuming to take nacelles off wing, Safran also is developing a team of experts to perform on-wing repairs. “We need to be onsite (where the aircraft is) within 24 hours,” he says. Expect Safran to deploy this service in 2019.