AFI, KLM Sets Sights On New MRO Markets

Click here for more news / Clique aqui para mais notícias

By Elyse Moody/AviationWeek.com

With three projects in emerging markets and airframe maintenance for new platforms in the works, Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance aims to maintain its 2008-2009 business levels even in the current economy, says AFI President Alain Bassail. The maintenance, repair and overhaul organization saw its income double last year, and pulled in sales of EUR2.89 billion.

Aircraft maintenance activity is declining globally, but Peter de Swert, EVP of KLM E&M says that opportunities exist: in-service aircraft are flying more hours, and growth remains strong in regions like China and the Middle East--7-8%, "even when living in a crisis," he says.

Since airlines have parked many older aircraft to make operations more efficient, AFI KLM E&M has "chosen to develop [its] activities in the future by choosing the right airframe types," says de Swert. Narrowbodies comprise the A320 family, 737NG and Embraer ERJ170/190; the MRO sees opportunities for widebody maintenance growth in the A330 and A340 families and the 777.

AFI KLM E&M sees partnerships in emerging markets as another way to grow its business. Already operational is TSI in Blytheville, Arkansas, a joint venture with U.S. company ART that gives the MRO internal engine teardown capabilities. This helps to "achieve savings in materials linked to shop visits," says Bruno Delile, SVP business development and commercial coordination. He adds that AFI KLM E&M previously spent up to $20 million a year on repaired or reconditioned engine parts and components, before it brought the work into its network.

A joint venture with Safran company Aircelle in Dubai was finalized here yesterday. Called AMES, the JV will provide nacelle maintenance for the local market of new aircraft types AFI KLM E&M is focusing on, says Delile. The capability is critical in the Middle East for new Airbus and Boeing fleets, he adds. It's set to begin operations by the end of the year.

And in Casablanca, AFI KLM E&M has formed an agreement to set up a joint venture with Royal Air Maroc. The two companies will invest in a purpose-built, two-bay hangar, and expect to induct the first A320 aircraft for D checks next year. This venture, Delile says, will allow AFI/KLM E&M to "develop narrowbody work in a more competitive environment than Europe."

Photo credit: Patrick Delapierre

◄ Share this news!

Bookmark and Share


The Manhattan Reporter

Recently Added

Recently Commented