Details of Triumph and AFI KLM New Nacelle JV

AFI KLM and Triumph Group leaders at 2021 MRO Europe in Amsterdam to announce xCelle JV formation.

AMSTERDAM—Triumph Group and Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFI KLM) finalized the formation of their nacelle overhaul business called xCelle Americas, which will be based in Triumph’s Hot Springs, Arkansas facility. 

xCelle Americas will provide MRO services for nacelles on Boeing 787, Boeing 737MAX, Airbus A320neo and Airbus A350 aircraft. Tooling for the JV will arrive in Hot Springs this year and the JV expects to receive FAA certification the end of October, says Bill Kircher, executive VP, Triumph Systems and Support.

One of the biggest benefits of this JV is that it pairs two big nacelle service providers, which, when their networks are combined, provides broader worldwide support coverage. AFI has nacelle MRO facilities in Europe and the Middle East, while Triumph has ones in North America and Thailand. 

While this JV initially launched in the U.S., Kircher says the next step is likely adding xCelle capabilities at Triumph Aviation Services Asia in Chonburi, near Bangkok. While that facility has a range of MRO services for narrowbody and widebody structures and components, xCelle would bring it the same next-generation aircraft capabilities that Hot Springs is gaining.

Likewise, xCelle provides AFI KLM better access to the North American market.

The JV will follow OEM repair guidelines for repairs but also bring the combined AFI KLM and Triumph maintenance and engineering expertise and ingenuity, says Kircher.  

Triumph and AFI KLM signed a memorandum of understanding in June 2019 to explore how to set up the JV and obtain necessary approvals. For instance, Rohr (Collins Aerospace) extended Air France’s licensed repair capabilities for 787 nacelles to the Americas.

Philippe Martin de Beauce is CEO of xCelle Americas and William Buxton is COO.

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.