Inside MRO News Briefs And Contracts, September 2022

aircraft mro
Credit: Lufthansa


Aspire MRO Launches Maintenance, PTF Services

New Part 145 provider Aspire MRO began heavy maintenance and passenger-to-freighter (PTF) conversions for widebody aircraft on Aug. 15.

Aspire MRO will operate out of the 840,000 ft.2 former GDC Technics facility at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, which was vacated in May 2021 following the company’s bankruptcy filing. It plans to operate six bays for heavy widebody maintenance and Boeing 777 PTF conversions.

President and CEO Phil Bathurst says Aspire MRO has “a strong backlog of work” and he expects it to become “the preeminent MRO providing conversion and maintenance services to widebody aircraft in North America.” The new MRO has already secured a long-term contract to perform PTF conversions and MRO work for Mammoth Freighters, and its freighter conversion backlog extends past 2026. Aspire MRO is also in talks with a long-haul operator for widebody heavy maintenance, and it has additional capacity to support other global operators.

Emirates Begins Prep For Retrofit Project

Emirates has begun preparations and trial runs for its massive cabin upgrade project across its fleet of Airbus A380 and Boeing 777 aircraft. The $2 billion investment will completely retrofit the passenger cabins of 67 A380s and 53 777s—a total of 120 aircraft.

The airline plans to retrofit four aircraft per month over the next two years, starting with the A380s. It is planning to complete work on each aircraft within a time span of just 16 days, which it says will require 1,000 worker hours per day. The airline has recruited 190 engineers for the project.

The airline’s maintenance arm, Emirates Engineering, will install 4,000 new premium-economy seats, upgrade more than 5,000 business-class seats and refurbish 728 first-class suites to a refreshed design aimed at enhancing customer experience. In addition to seat upgrades, Emirates is upgrading cabin carpets and stairs, as well as refreshing cabin interior panels with new colors and designs.

The airline says the project will “begin in earnest” in November. It expects to finish the full fleet upgrade in April 2025.

ASL Acquires X-air Services

Irish aviation services group ASL Aviation Holdings has assumed full ownership of X-air Services after acquiring the 50% stake held by partner Sabena Technics in the Belgium-based MRO. X-air is a Part 145 repair specialist that operates out of locations in Brussels and Liege, where it offers line, light and base maintenance services and technical support.

ASL’s Belgian carrier, ASL Airlines Belgium, is the operation’s largest maintenance customer. X-air Services also maintains aircraft operated by ASL Aviation Holdings’ other airlines in Ireland and France.

Its facilities are used for light and heavy maintenance checks on Boeing 737-400 classic and 737-800BCF aircraft. X-air also provides some MRO services for ASL Belgium’s fleet of 747-400 freighter aircraft.

ST Engineering To Gain Leap 1B Test Capability

ST Engineering is partnering with Calspan Aero Systems Engineering (ASE) to set up a Leap 1B engine test cell in Singapore, enabling the MRO provider to get more engine data from ground tests of the Boeing 737 MAX family powerplant.

The capability will be ready by the end of 2023, after attaining certification from the Civil Aviation Administration of China, European Union Aviation Safety Agency and the FAA. ST Engineering stood up its Leap 1B quick-turn services in February and it is set to attain full MRO capability for the engine type by the end of 2023.

ST Engineering says it will be the first MRO provider in the Asia-Pacific to integrate Calspan ASE’s latest ASE2000LX Version 8 data-acquisition control system. The company already operates engine MRO and test cell facilities for CFM56-5Bs and -7Bs out of its facilities in Singapore and Xiamen, China.


Aeronautical Engineers Inc. won an order from Bulgaria’s Cargo Air for a fourth Boeing 737-800 freighter conversion. Commercial Jet will modify the aircraft in Miami starting in October.

AJW Group won a power-by-the-hour contract with Canada’s Air Transat to support its Airbus A321ceo and A321­neo fleet.

AlMasria Universal Airlines selected Rusada’s Envision software to unify its airworthiness, maintenance and flight operations.

Boeing booked orders from Aircompany Armenia for three 737-800 freighter conversions.

Dornier Technology secured contracts with Air Busan, Air Seoul and Jeju Air to provide line maintenance in the Philippines.

HAECO ITM won a Silk Way West Airlines contract to provide inventory technical management support for Boeing 747-8Fs through 2029.

Israel Aerospace Industries secured a Boeing 767-300ER passenger-to-freighter conversion contract with AELF FlightService. Mexicana MRO will perform the modifications in mid-2023. The deal includes the option for a second aircraft.

SWISS-AS was selected by India’s Akasa Air to provide its AMOS MRO management software to support up to 72 Boeing 737 MAXs.

Turkish Technic was licensed by Honey­well for Air Data Inertial Reference Unit component repairs for Boeing 737s and 787s.

Virgin Atlantic renewed its deal with flydocs for digital records management and technical services for 37 Airbus A330s, A350s and Boeing 787s.