Spirit AeroSystems, ST Engineering Partner On Nacelle MRO In Middle East

ST Engineering and Spirit Aerosystems

Tom Gentile, Spirit AeroSystems president and CEO, and ST Engineering CEO Jeffrey Lam sign agreement at MRO Americas.

Credit: Spirit Aerosystems

ATLANTA—Spirit AeroSystems and ST Engineering will start jointly marketing aircraft engine nacelle MRO services in the Middle East. 

The companies signed a cooperation agreement on April 19 to look for ways to support airlines with diverse fleets in the region.

ST Engineering and Spirit AeroSystems have complimentary engine nacelle capabilities for most of the dominant aircraft fleets in the Middle East—Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX, 787 and 777.

ST Engineering is a licensed MRO for the Boeing 787 nacelle and holds an MRO license for the Airbus A320neo Leap 1A nacelle so “we’re in a strong position for these product lines,” says Goh Poh Loh, ST Engineering’s executive vice president and head of component services. "We basically cover the whole spectrum,” Goh adds.

Spirit AeroSystems designs, builds and repair components on the 777 and 737 MAX.

Neither company has a presence in the region—compared to North America, Europe and Asia where the Spirit and ST Engineering already have a presence or joint ventures. The Middle East “felt like the right test ground ... to see if there is a value equation here,” says Kailash Krishnaswamy, SVP of Spirit Aftermarket Services. 

The companies will coordinate sales activities, pool assets and leverage repair centers to support Middle Eastern nacelle customers. They also will capitalize on Spirit’s relationship with Joramco, which became a Spirit authorized repair center on March 1. “We will be leveraging a lot of Joramco’s resources and skills, and we will be bringing in our repair technology,” Krishnaswamy says.

If the agreement between ST Engineering and Spirit takes off, they most likely will expand Joramco’s nacelle repair capabilities. 

ST Engineering operates a repair center in Sweden and Spirit AeroSystems owns one in Belfast—so at least initially more complex nacelle parts will be performed in Europe. 

“This is really about commercial access to customers” between Spirit’s and ST Engineering’s channels, and leveraging resources, Krishnaswamy says. 

The cooperation agreement covers Jordan, Kuwait, Oman, Qatar, Saudia Arabia and UAE.

When Spirit AeroSystems’ and ST Engineering’s nacelle repair capabilities are combined, it covers about 95% of the fleet, he says.

Spirit designs, builds and repair components on the nacelles of Boeing 737 MAX/NG, 747, 757, 777 and Airbus A320ceo and A330 aircraft. ST Engineering designs, builds and repairs components on the nacelles of 747, 767, A330 and A320neo. ST also is licensed to provide MRO on 787 and A320neo Leap engine nacelles.

The cooperation agreement enables the companies to provide customers “the convenience of one-stop shop services and yet enjoy a wide scope of services, which we believe is a huge value add,” says Goh Poh Loh, ST Engineering’s EVP and head of component services.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.