ST Engineering, SF Airlines Launch Freighter MRO Venture In China

SF Airlines

China's SF Airlines operates an all-Boeing freighter fleet.

Credit: Rob Finlayson

SINGAPORE—ST Engineering and China’s SF Airlines have entered an agreement to set up an airframe MRO joint venture in Ezhou, China.

The currently unnamed venture has an equity spilt of 60:40 in favor of ST Engineering and will begin operations in 2025.

The facility will be built at the greenfield airframe MRO facility at the Ezhou Huahu Airport, designated as Hubei province’s international logistics hub airport. The airport began commercial operation in July 2022 and cargo operations in November 2022.

“The joint venture will not only support the freighter MRO demands of SF Airlines, which is China’s largest freighter airline in fleet size, but also serve the increasing needs of other cargo and passenger airlines operating in the region,” ST Engineering says in a statement. MRO demand in China and the Asia-Pacific region is estimated to increase at a 3-7% compound annual growth rate (CAGR) over the next decade, according to ST Engineering.

Courier operator SF Airlines’ largest dedicated freighter fleet in China has an all-Boeing makeup. According to Aviation Week Network’s Fleet Discovery, SF Airlines has 64 aircraft in service: 34 Boeing 757Fs; 16 767Fs; 12 737Fs and a pair of 747-400Fs.

ST Engineering already has a MRO presence in China with facilities at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport, as well as an engine MRO facility in Xiamen. 

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.