Malaysia Airlines Pursues Turboprop MRO Capabilities
Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB) is looking to advance its turboprop MRO capabilities by signing a new Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Piedmont Propulsion Systems (PPS). The companies say the MoU is the first step in a technological joint venture that will enable them to work together on providing aircraft propeller MRO services in Malaysia and the U.S.
Under the partnership, PPS will provide technical and training support for propeller maintenance requirements, including recertification, line maintenance and annual refresher trainings to MAB engineering staff. It will also provide major inspections and repairs where required, as well as support the development of alternate repairs and replacement parts. PPS says that long term, it will “facilitate a knowledge and technology transfer to develop MAB propeller hub and actuator capabilities.”
Meanwhile, MAB will provide the physical and staff resources to facilitate repair operations at Kuala Lumpur International Airport (KLIA), where it will support sister companies Firefly and MASwings on the maintenance of their ATR 72 aircraft. According to Aviation Week’s Fleet & MRO Forecast, Firefly operates 13 ATR 72s while MASwings operates 11.
Additionally, MAB plans to service partner airlines in the region operating ATR 72s. It says it will manage the supply chain of OEM replacement parts to be used by its partners.
“Despite the reduced flying Malaysia Airlines has on a day-to-day basis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is arguably more important now than ever that our aircraft undergo proper and thorough maintenance as they sit in long-term parking,” says Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi, Malaysia Airlines Group' chief operations officer. “I foresee long-term partnering with PPS will aid us in achieving these goals, and following the industry recovery, this memorandum with PPS will allow us to be a one-stop shop in the region for turboprop operators looking for reliable, high quality and fast service.”
He notes that in addition to working with PPS to build up MAB’s internal competencies, the airline hopes to develop its own propeller hub and actuator capabilities in the future.
The companies say they expect the joint services to generate RM10 million (nearly $2.4 million) within three years.
Earlier this year, MAB began a similar collaboration with Revima around specialized APU and landing gear solutions. The companies are working together to provide a “one-stop-center service” on landing gear replacement and overhaul solutions to third party customers at MAB’s KLIA hangar.