Fast 5: AFI KLM E&M Eyes New Engine Services

Michael Grootenboer, vice president engine product at AFI KLM E&M, talks about how the global MRO sees market prospects and how it is preparing for the post-pandemic future.

Are you seeing any signs of an increase in shop visits or other engine work coming up?

We are currently experiencing some initial increases in workload within our shops, as well as a growing level of commercial activity in the market. As the COVID crisis begins to ease off in the coming period, we expect that capacity in our shops will rapidly fill up as airlines prepare for the recovery of air traffic levels.

How soon might work pick up?

While the crisis is not over yet, we do begin to see hopeful signs in some of our key markets as the vaccination campaigns pick up steam. Governments in, for example, Europe and North America have expressed confidence that these campaigns could enable a progressive easing up on current travel restrictions around the summer time. That is the timeframe we are orienting ourselves to.

For which engine types are these signs hopeful?

Easing of travel restrictions will likely start with medium-haul traffic and then progress on intercontinental traffic as individual countries complete their vaccination programs. We therefore expect that the demand for CFM56s will recover first, followed by widebody engine types such as GE90, GEnx and CF6.

Are you expecting any increased engine work from lease transition projects?

Besides supporting airlines in maintaining their current operations through our flexible offerings and helping them prepare for the pick-up in traffic by returning their parked aircraft to ready-to-fly condition, we of course also support our customers in their fleet adjustments. We do see an additional flow of work from such fleet adjustments.

Would you offer engine MRO to third parties for Rolls-Royce engines if this market opens up?

We are in the process of adding the Rolls Royce Trent XWB, the Pratt & Whitney PW1500G and the CFM International LEAP to our engine MRO capabilities. Naturally, we closely follow developments in the market across our entire portfolio and continuously adjust our offerings according to the needs of our customers.