Nearly two years after it came into service, the maintenance offer for the LEAP is starting to expand. AFI KLM E&M wants to make sure that it doesn't miss out on this potentially huge market with nearly 15 000 engines already ordered. The Franco-Dutch group moved quickly, getting its first approval from the EASA last April, then from the FAA at the end of May. The completion of its first major project was just announced on 4th July.
AFI KLM E&M is now authorised by the American and European authorities to carry out on wing and on-site maintenance on the LEAP-1As (which power the Airbus A320neos) and LEAP-1Bs (with which the Boeing 737 MAXes are equipped). The group is announcing that it can provide services such as engine power plant build-up, borescope inspection, and line replaceable unit (LRU) replacement for the CFM International engine (a Safran-General Electric joint venture).
Note that the FAA approval, which was validated on 28th May, was only announced on 4th July. This did not prevent Anne Brachet, deputy chief executive of AFI KLM E&M, from being delighted with the news: "FAA approval is a further milestone in the development of our dedicated LEAP maintenance offering. AFI KLM E&M is now approved to offer its services to all operators of the LEAP-1A and LEAP-1B engines equipping the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAXes worldwide."
A first level reached
Anne Brachet took the opportunity to declare that a first major project had just been completed. The Franco-Dutch group has just finished a service to build-up a LEAP-1B engine on behalf of TUI fly Belgium, one of the TUI Group's airlines. This operation was carried out in AFI KLM E&M's facilities in Amsterdam-Schiphol, in the Netherlands.
This project could be the forerunner for others, according to Anders Nordkvist, Head of Powerplant & End of Lease at TUI Group Engineering & Maintenance : "TUI is very satisfied with the services delivered by AFI KLM E&M teams in respect of the engine build-up. [...] We thus confidently looked to their expertise for this LEAP workscope." This could provide AFI KLM E&M with significant business volume, given the 72 Boeing 737 MAXes ordered by the TUI Group for its various airlines.
Anne Brachet also sees this first project as a preliminary stage towards future expansion of its offer: " The Group will now continue to ramp up its support capabilities for the LEAP by finalizing on-wing/on-site and shop capabilities by responding as soon as necessary to requests from its clients, and ultimately taking on more complex tasks on a Quick Turn basis."