Korean Air To Open GTF MRO Facility In 2023 After A321neos Arrive

Korean Air is set to receive its first GTF-powered A321neo in 2022.
Credit: Airbus

Korean Air’s Maintenance and Engineering Division will attain Pratt & Whitney GTF engine MRO capability by the end of 2023 to support the arrival of Airbus A321neos to the flag-carrier’s fleet beginning in 2022.

The facility will have full disassembly, assembly and test capability for the PW1100G-JM engine.

Korean Air becomes the eighth MRO provider in Asia to announce it will support the engine, but only three have come online so far: MTU Maintenance Zhuhai in China, Pratt’s Eagle Services Asia in Singapore and IHI in Japan.

Mary Ellen Jones, Pratt’s VP of APAC customer business, said there has been more growth coming out of its North Asia segment as the region emerges from the pandemic, citing China Airlines taking delivery of a GTF-powered A321neo, and current A320/321neo operators such as Tigerair Taiwan and ANA. Jones also highlighted the trend of airlines choosing narrowbody aircraft to fulfil longer routes, which plays to the GTF-powered A321neo’s strengths.

Jones added that while the North Asian market may not surpass the volume seen in Southeast Asia where LCCs have placed large orders, she believes airlines there will focus on their single-aisle fleets post-pandemic. 

The Aviation Week Network Fleet Discovery database shows Korean Air has 30 A321neos on order and 10 GTF-powered A220s in service. Korean Air’s Maintenance and Engineering Division also has MRO capabilities for PW4000s, CFM56-7 and General Electric GE90-110/115 engines.

Chen Chuanren

Chen Chuanren is the Southeast Asia and China Editor for the Aviation Week Network’s (AWN) Air Transport World (ATW) and the Asia-Pacific Defense Correspondent for AWN, joining the team in 2017.