Posted on: 02 August 2018 by Mark Howells
A recent agreement between the International Air Transport Association (IATA) and CFM International to improve the opportunities available to third-party providers of engine parts and MRO services on the CFM56 and LEAP series engines can only be a good thing in terms of helping to reduce the industry’s operating costs, according to one provider.
Authorised CFM repair station Aero Norway is set to be a beneficiary alongside airlines, lessors, other third-party MROs and parts manufacturers, it says, adding that benefits would accrue for all parties via increased competition in the marketplace for maintenance, repair, and overhaul services on the engine families.
Glenford Marston, Stavanger-based Aero Norway’s CEO, praised CFM on reaching what he described as a significant agreement with IATA. “Authorised third-party repair shops like Aero Norway are part of a recognised expert supply chain and we are keenly awaiting ratification of the proposed new conduct policies” he said. “These proposed measures mean that we will be able to pass on savings directly to airline customers, by reducing our ‘fully-burdened’ rates which presently include licence fees and a percentage of revenue per engine – this is our chance to offer more flexible engine MRO solutions and to give something back.”
He went on to say that maintaining dispatch reliability and reducing operating costs to ensure that airlines can thrive as businesses by continuing to offer affordable flights are key aspects for the industry. “As OEMs seek to tighten their hold on the supply chain, operators and lessors of mature aircraft assets face enormous pressure as they seek to maintain, upgrade and transition older aircraft cost-effectively in the face of continued delays in new aircraft deliveries,” added Marston.
The IATA-CFM agreement specifically covers CFM56 series engines. The CFM56-5B is used on the global Airbus A320 family while the CFM56-7B exclusively powers the Boeing B737NG, making it the most popular engine combination in commercial aviation. CFM will also apply the agreement to all commercial engines it produces, including its LEAP Series.
“Aero Norway aspires to remain a CFMI overhaul specialist for the foreseeable future as this is where the organisation holds a depth of expertise and knowledge” he continued. The company has been in talks with CFMI aimed at obtaining a licence for the LEAP engine “because eventually there will be a lot of demand for this engine type and it is evident that the crucial role that third party repair shops play in maintaining the efficiency of supply chain is recognised.”
It will not be before the end of the year at the earliest that any repair licences to independent MROs like Aero Norway will be granted. The costs involved with introducing the model, and evaluating the necessary tooling required, means that any potential introduction of the LEAP engine into Aero Norway’s facility would be 2020 at the earliest, it said.
Written by: Mark Thomas
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