Sanad Eyes Global MRO Expansion

Sanad Aerotech V2500
Credit: Sanad Aerotech

While last year was a significant year for Sanad Aerotech as it regrouped its businesses and announced several engine capability expansions, expect the business to pivot in 2020 as it focuses on delivering what it signed up to do in 2019.

To do that and continue to focus on its growth, a key step is creating a global network, says Mansoor Janahi, Sanad Aerotech CEO.

A first step is creating a center of excellence for auxiliary power unit (APU) MRO with Ethiopian Airlines. The two companies announced a strategic alliance on Feb. 6 to set up the capability in Addis Ababa, initially focusing on Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 APUs. Janahi says the 15-year alliance will start with APU MRO, as phase one, and could potentially move into a joint venture that could include expanding capabilities such as components or engine MRO potentially. He told Aviation Week that there is not a target date for committing to a joint venture.

“We are very bullish on the African market” and think the APU market is very underserved, says Janahi.

He says Ethiopian Airlines brings “exemplary leadership,” a modern fleet, stable business and strong MRO infrastructure.

He says that Sanad is also “actively looking at Southeast Asia and the Americas” for ways to expand its global network. It is not focused on a particular country in Southeast Asia and instead if looking for the right partner with whom to build a long-term alliance or joint venture, he explains.

For the Americas market, Janahi says Sanad is looking for a location that could serve both North and South American customers.

At its Abu Dhabi homebase, where it operates its main facility, the engine specialist has added a raft of new engine work in the past year and is ramping up the business to accommodate the increased volumes.

Beginning at last year’s Paris Air Show, it became an authorized repair center for Rolls-Royce’s Trent 700 engine. Over time, this program will number up to 75 engine overhauls annually, Janahi says.

In addition, its work on the GEnx engine type, which it has repaired since 2013, is expected to ramp up. Effective from 2020 running through to 2035, the 15-year agreement will see the Abu Dhabi shop overhaul more than 300 engines.

Maintenance services for CFM Leap-1A and -1B engines are expected to begin from 2021. For these engine types, Sanad Aerotech this will involve quick turn on 237 LEAP engines over a 10-year period at its Abu Dhabi shop.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.

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.