Etihad Engineering Reports High Operational Tempo
Etihad Engineering, the MRO arm of Abu Dhabi’s Etihad Aviation Group, says it has expanded its operations in aircraft maintenance and parking to meet airlines’ requirements as fleets are grounded through the COVID-19 pandemic.
Unlike many MRO shops that have reported airlines deferring work to save cash in the current crisis, Etihad Engineering says that several operators have brought forward maintenance work that was initially planned for the back end of the year.
Current projects involve cabin uplift, passenger-to-freighter conversion, longeron modification, C-checks, major structural modification, painting and deep cleaning of aircraft for both sister company Etihad Airways and third-party customers.
The MRO provider has collaborated with Etihad Airways to conduct a full cabin refresh on its entire 96-strong passenger aircraft fleet. This has included cabin renovations, interior detailing, seat repairs and a full sweep of the inflight entertainment system. That project is scheduled to be completed by the end of June.
“We have taken advantage of the grounding period and used it to carry out maintenance services to ensure the entire fleet is operating at its optimal and will be uninterrupted by maintenance requirements as services return,” Etihad Engineering’s VP of technical sales and customer service, Frederic Dupont said.
As for third-party clients: “We understand that it may not be possible for some of our customers to be physically present with us as engineering work on their aircraft progresses. Continuous footage of the maintenance progress is captured by GoPro cameras and shared back with our clients, and virtual meetings provide the latest updates.”
The MRO has received an increased number of parking requests from third-party customers during the grounding of most customers’ fleets, with most of its parking slots at Abu Dhabi International Airport currently occupied. All aircraft parked at the facility will undergo preservation maintenance.
All aircraft arriving at the facility for maintenance or parking undergo a deep cleaning process by the disinfection team before any work commences. It takes four hours to clean a narrow body; eight hours for larger aircraft.