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Aviation News China: The LEAP engine MRO network has just taken a great leap forwards

China: The LEAP engine MRO network has just taken a great leap forwards

Romain Guillot
18 SEP 2019 | 392 words
China: The LEAP engine MRO network has just taken a great leap forwards
MTU Maintenance Zhuhai
One of the largest engine maintenance centers in the world is ready for CFM International's LEAP engines. MTU Maintenance Zhuhai has just taken charge of its first LEAP-1B for a quick turn intervention.

MTU Maintenance Zhuhai, a joint-venture which was created in 2001 and which is owned equally by the German engine manufacturer and China Southern airline, has just received the licence it needs to start MRO activities for LEAP-1A (Airbus's A320neo family) and LEAP-1B (Boeing 737 MAX family) engines. The first LEAP-1B has just been inducted for a "Quick Turn" intervention.

This is a major step for this repair centre's activities, as Airbus is delivering more and more A320neos to the region's operators. Chinese airlines are also major customers for the 737 MAX programme, a programme which is currently grounded, with 96 aircraft delivered in China (nearly a third of the worldwide fleet).

MTU Maintenance Zhuhai is already the largest engine MRO centre in China and the largest in Asia for single-aisle aircraft engines, with the equivalent of 300 shop visits each year. Specialising in V2500-A5 and CFM56-3, -5B and -7 servicing (an activity which continues to expand with its peak expected in 2022-2023), the Chinese repair centre based in the Zhuhai Free Trade Zone, close to Hong Kong, Macao and of course Guangzhou, has been preparing to host the successor to the CFM56 family for over a year now. MTU Maintenance Zhuhai has invested in purchasing dedicated tooling and test equipment, technical documentation, staff training and obtaining the necessary approvals.

But MTU Maintenance Zhuhai's expansion isn't stopping at this new engine capability This Chinese-German company has also just increased its annual servicing capacity to 450, in keeping with what they announced last year when the partnership between MTU and China Southern was renewed for a further 20 years. This is the second 50% capacity increase for MTU Maintenance Zhuhai in just 10 years. The centre had started its activities with a capacity of 200 shop visits per year.

Of course, MTU Maintenance Zhuhai isn't the only company servicing LEAP engines in China. Sichuan Services Aero Engine Maintenance Company (SSAMC), the joint enterprise created by CFM International and Air China in Chengdu opened a new facility last year to carry out 300 shop visits (CFM56/LEAP) per year.
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia


 
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