| Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M), the Air France-KLM group's maintenance arm, took advantage of the latest Paris air show to take a look over all of its activities. Anne Brachet, Executive Vice President of the world number 2 "Airline MRO" also took the opportunity to look over a series of particularly strategic commercial contracts.
AFI KLM E&M it should be remembered has been very active on traditional platforms, but also on new generation aircraft, a new activity which requires major investment and for which success arrived much more quickly than the arrival of these aircraft types in Air France or KLM's fleets, 3 years before the first 787 was delivered to KLM for example.
As for components, Air France KLM's MRO division has built up a whole clutch of contracts for 787s (Vietnam Airlines, Air Tahiti Nui, Qantas, LOT, Jetstar, Virgin Atlantic, Royal Air Maroc, Air Austral, Saudia, Latam, Juneyao, Oman Air and so on), for 737 MAXes (Aeromexico, Oman Air, TUI, RAM, Norwegian, Silk Air, LOT, to name just a few), A350s (China Eastern, Air Mauritius, Air Caraibes, Virgin, Delta, Thai), the A320neo family (Air Côte d'Ivoire, La Compagnie, Air Asia, Cebu Pacific) but also for the A330neo (AirAsia X and Air Sénégal). This is also true for new generation engines, such as the GEnX (Vietnam Airlines, WestJet, Air Tahiti Nui et Xiamen) and for CFM International's LEAP (TUI group, Oman Air and Royal Brunei). The LEAP activity started this year with "Quick Turn" projects.
Anne Brachet also looked back at the recent contract renewals for previous generation aircraft, with Air China for GE90 engines (777), with Finnair for its CF6-80E1s (A330), or with El Al for the APUs of its 777 fleet via its specialist subsidiary EPCOR. The strategic cabin modification activity has not been left behind with the new contract won with Russia's Azur Air for an additional 777-300ER.
But AFI KLM E&M's Executive Vice President also recalled that the strength of the division's activity is also based on partnerships, like the CSP contracts that have been signed with Boeing for the 737NG and the 777. New partnerships have been unveilled at Le Bourget with Triumph in the United States for aerostructures and with Parker Aerospace for its 787 component activities.
Asia, a major development axis for AFI KLM E&M
But Anne Brachet also emphasised the importance of the Asia-Pacific region in AFI KLM E&M's activities, starting with a whole series of contracts which have recently been won in China. Asia's dynamism has also made a major contribution to Air France - KLM"s MRO division passing the 11 billion dollar mark in its order book from last year, a trend which has continued over the last few months (11.632 billion dollars in orders in May 2019), with Asia now accounting for 41% of its business.
For example, AFI KLM E&M has got onboard the latest generation of wide-body aircraft on the Chinese market with the Airbus A350s of Sichuan Airlines (2017) and China Eastern (November 2018) or the Dreamliner fleets of Xiamen Airlines (2014), China Eastern (July 2018) and Juneyao (September 2018), supported in particular by its repair centre (AFI KLM E&M Components China in Shanghai Pudong) and its local equipment pool.
One other development axis related to the Asia-Pacific region is of course the finalisation of the Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA) which was signed in 2018 between AFI KLM E&M and GMF AeroAsia, the maintenance subsidiary of Garuda Indonesia group, which two years ago set itself the objective of becoming one of the 10 largest MROs in the world. The two partners signed multiple combined contracts on 17th June for various maintenance operations (read our article: A look back at how the partnership between AFI KLM E&M and GMF AeroAsia was finalised).