Ecube Opens New U.S. Teardown Facility
UK-based aircraft part-out specialist Ecube has opened its first teardown facility in the U.S. at Coolidge Municipal Airport in Arizona.
Located 50 mi. north from the aircraft boneyard at Pinal Park, the new facility will accompany the company's existing European sites in Castellón, Spain and its headquarters in St Athan, UK.
The company says that following the expansion to the U.S., it now operates in the world's two largest aircraft part-out regions, covering almost 90% of the global aircraft market.
“We underwent an extensive exercise over the past 12 months in speaking with and listening to our customers to understand the optimal location for asset owners of end-of-life aircraft; this inevitably resulted in Ecube planting its flag at a new location in Arizona,” says Lee McConnellogue, CEO of Ecube.
“At the forefront of our U.S. expansion plans is consistency of service, ensuring we replicate the experience our customers have learned to enjoy and rely on at our UK and EU facilities,” he adds.
Ecube has already received its first Boeing 737-700 aircraft for teardown at the new facility. The aircraft was managed by Austin-based mid-life aircraft leasing company Aero Capital Solutions (ACS). The narrowbody was formerly operated by Sweden-headquartered Scandinavian Airlines (SAS).
Both ACS and SAS have previously worked with Ecube on aircraft teardown-related projects. ACS cites the long-standing relationship with Ecube at its St Athan main base as an example of the strength of the partnership.
Steven Taylor, chief commercial officer at Ecube, says the strategic addition of a U.S. location is enabling Ecube customers to distribute assets and inventory to a global customer base.
Ecube expects an increase in narrowbody and widebody aircraft retirements toward the end of 2022, with growth expected to continue into 2023. Taylor also forecasts an uptick in both aircraft storage and teardown activity globally.
“The convergence of aircraft utilization and passenger traffic trends to pre-pandemic levels should elevate demand for used serviceable material, and as a key determinant in aircraft end-of-life evaluations I anticipate a higher level of global retirements, compared to the previous two years, to service this need," he says.
Over the past few months, Ecube has also bolstered its MRO capabilities. Earlier this year, the company gained EASA Part 145 approval, which enables it to offer aircraft line maintenance and engine workshop services to European Union-registered aircraft.