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Aviation News MRO Asia-Pacific: A year full of particularly significant events for the maintenance sector in Asia

MRO Asia-Pacific: A year full of particularly significant events for the maintenance sector in Asia

Romain Guillot
02 OCT 2019 | 1425 words
MRO Asia-Pacific: A year full of particularly significant events for the maintenance sector in Asia

GAMECO has started building a new 98 000 m2 hangar Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport which will be able to accommodate 6 high capacity aircraft (A380s and 777s) and 5 narrowbodies at the same time. The China Southern MRO division's capacities can carry out up to 30 major inspections in parallel with its three hangars.

Safran Landing Systems will soon be opening a new repair centre for its equipment in Xi'an, in partnership with China Eastern.

MTU Aero Engines and China Southern have extended the contract which covers their MTU Maintenance Zhuhai joint venture by 20 years, until 2051. The JV will also be extending its capacities to 450 annual maintenance inspections and has just received the licence it needs to start its MRO activities for LEAP-1As (Airbus A320neo family) and LEAP-1Bs (Boeing 737 MAX).

Aeronautical Engineers (AEI) has chosen Taikoo (Shandong) Aircraft Engineering Company Limited (STAECO) as its new approved conversion centre. AEI now has three approved conversion centres in operation: Commercial Jet in Miami (Florida), Commercial Jet Services in Dothan (Alabama) and KF Aerospace in Kelowna (Canada).

Sichuan Services Aero Engine Maintenance Company (SSAMC), the joint enterprise created by CFM International and Air China in Chengdu extended its facilities last year to be able to carry out 300 maintenance inspections (CFM56/LEAP) per year.

South Korea

Korea Aviation Engineering & Maintenance Service (KAEMS) started its first major maintenance inspection on a Jeju Air Boeing 737 in March. Launched in July 2017, KAEMS is the first independent MRO company in South Korea. The company has seven shareholders, the main one of which is Korea Aerospace Industries which has a 65.5% stake. The others are Korea Airports, BNK Financial Group, Jeju Air, Eastar Jet, Hize Aero and Atech.


InterGlobe Aviation (IndiGo) has obtained a twenty-year concession on land at Bangalore airport to build a maintenance centre. The hangar should cover a surface of 13 000 m and be able to accommodate two single-aisle aircraft. This second centre (following the one in Delhi) will be operational in 2020.

AAR-Indamer Technics Private Limited, a joint venture of AAR and the oldest MRO company in India, is finalising the construction of the first phase of its Nagpur maintenance centre. The new MRO facilities will initially have four hangars for single-aisle aircraft.


GMF AeroAsia and Batam Aero Technic (BAT) will be joining forces and building up to eight shared hangars in Batam, near Singapore, by 2028, to meet the needs of the two main groups in Indonesia, with capacity of up to an additional 16 single-aisle planes. BAT already has capacity for 12 single-aisle planes or four high capacity planes at the platform.

GMF AeroAsia and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM E&M) have solidified their 2018 Strategic Partnership Agreement (SPA), with the start of the first commercial contracts between the two groups.


Mitsubishi Heavy Industries has signed an agreement with Bombardier to take over its CRJ programme. The agreement, which should be finalised in the first half of 2020, covers first and foremost the maintenance, support and upgrade activities for the family of regional jets.

MRO Japan inaugurated its new maintenance centre at Naha (Okinawa) in January. The Japanese company, which is owned by ANA Holdings, Jamco and Mitsubishi Heavy Industries, had closed its last maintenance line at Itami (Osaka) in November. It now has the capacity to accommodate four aircraft at the same time: 3 narrowbodies and 1 widebody.


Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), a 100% subsidiary of Airbus, is planning the construction of a third base maintenance hangar at Kuala Lumpur which will be able to accommodate up to four single-aisle planes or two high capacity planes. SAE's total capacity will increase to 16 single-aisle aircraft in parallel, in particular for the requirements of the AirAsia group.

ASSB (Airfoil Services Sdn Bhd), a joint enterprise of MTU Aero Engines and Lufthansa Technik in Malaysia, has started to construct a 5 200 square metre extension to its Kuala Lumpur facilities. This extension will increase its current capacity from 650 000 to 900 000 repairs per year by 2020.


Lufthansa Technik Philippines (LTP) is planning to extend its facilities by 9 000 m2 over the next few years, with investment estimated at 40 million dollars. LTP's facilities, located at Ninoy-Aquino international airport in Manilla, already have three hangars that can accommodate 8 aircraft at the same time: five widebodies and three narrowbodies.

Textron Aviation has just opened a new service centre at this same airport, in collaboration with PhiliJets Aero Services. A new hangar provides maintenance work for Beechcraft King Air 200, 250, 300 and 350 aircraft registered in the Philippines. This new centre is also targeting approvals for Cessna Caravans and Beechcraft King Air 90s.


The Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS) and the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) have signed a reciprocal agreement to cover approvals for their maintenance companies. However, this agreement will have little impact on the companies based in Singapore, as 43 maintenance bodies are already CAAC-certified.

Singapore Component Solutions and Liebherr-Aerospace have signed a cooperation agreement which enables the the Singapore joint enterprise of AFI KLM E&M and Sabena Technics to join the network of repair workshops approved by Liebherr. With the equipment manufacturer's support, it will acquire authorisation to carry out maintenance operations on heat exchangers for the A320 family up to level 3 (major repairs, reconstruction).

ST Engineering's first prototype Airbus A321P2F entered the conversion phase in its Changi facilities during the second quarter. Work is scheduled to finish before the end of the year, with certification at the start of 2020.

Eagle Services Asia (ESA), the joint venture formed by Pratt & Whitney and the MRO division of Singapore Airlines (SIAEC) hosted a PW1100G-JM (Airbus A320neo) for maintenance for the first time at the start of the year, a first for this type of engine in South East Asia.


EGAT (Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corporation), the maintenance division of EVA Air, officially opened its new engine maintenance and testing centre in June. The new 5-storey building, which covers a surface of 20 000 m2, is able to inspect engines such as General Electric's GEnx-1B (787) and -2B (747-8). It also features composite repair workshops and non destructive testing. Note that a major part of EGAT's engine MRO activity (GEnx and CF6) will be transferred to GEEVES (GE Evergreen Engine Services), its joint-venture with the American engine manufacturer, before the end of the year.

TAMECO (Taiwan Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Co.), an independent subsidiary of China Airlines, inaugurated a new maintenance hangar at the Taipei/Taoyuan platform in March. The new facilities may accommodate two widebodies such as 777/A350 or three single-aisle aircraft at the same time.


For the first time, Thai Airways MRO facilities in U-Tapao accommodated an A380 from the Thai flag carrier for a major inspection in May. This C-Check was carried out by Thai Technical in just 51 days.

The planned JV between Airbus and Thai Airways at U-Tapao has been slightly delayed, but the Thai airline has every hope of being able to finalise the agreement at the start of next year, with its new MRO facilities opening by 2022. Remember that the plan is to establish one of the largest maintenance hub in Asia-Pacific.

Triumph finalised the sale of its Triumph Aviation Services Asia's (TASA) APU repair line in July. The activity, which provides repair services for auxiliary power units and their components in Chonburi (Thailand), has been taken over 100% by TurbineAero.

SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) and NokScoot have announced the creation of a joint line maintenance company which will have initial capital of 2.74 million dollars. Under this agreement, SIA Engineering will have a 49% stake in the joint company, while the Thai airline will own 51% of the shares, subject to regulatory approval. The joint enterprise will be starting its activities at Don Mueang international airport and may then extend to other airports.

Revima launched the construction of its landing gear repair centre at Chonburi, in Thailand, at the start of the year. Initially it will be specialising in A320, 737 and ATR platforms. Representing over 30 million dollars of investment, the facilities should cover a surface of 12 000 m and may employ up to 300 people. The centre is is due to be operational in 2020.


ST Engineering and Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company (VAECO) have created a new joint enterprise in Vietnam. The new JV, Vietnam Singapore Technologies Engineering Aerospace, will be providing MRO solutions for Vietnam Airlines components. The new facilities are due to be operational over the coming weeks.
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia

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