GA Telesis Explores China Pipeline

Both parties intend to work with Guangzhou-based maintenance provider GAMECO and with MTU Zhuhai for a range of parts services.
Credit: China Southern Airlines

Parts providers and lessors make good partners, providing a source of material to the former and the opportunity to maximize the value of aging aircraft and engines for the latter.

The latest agreement in this space is between China Southern Airlines Leasing (CSAL) and Florida-based GA Telesis. Both parties have signed a memorandum of understanding for China Southern's leasing arm to work with the U.S. company’s MRO business units and its engine services team.

The two companies intend to work with Guangzhou-based maintenance provider GAMECO and with MTU Maintenance Zhuhai for parts services related to storage, maintenance, cargo conversion, dismantling, component repair for various aircraft types, engine shop visits and engine parts support programs.

The partnership will also encompass engine teardown and trading through MTU Maintenance Zhuhai.

“The commercial aviation market in China ranks as one the most important sectors across all industry categories,” says Abdol Moabery, CEO of GA Telesis.

As China’s biggest airline, China Southern occupies a special place in the market, while its leasing arm is often entrusted to help gradually phase out older aircraft from its parent’s massive fleet.

In April, for instance, CSAL bought and leased back 11 mid-life Boeing 737-700 aircraft from China Southern, having previously agreed a similar deal covering 18 Airbus A320s.

The lessor’s capabilities with sunset aircraft, meanwhile, were recognized in late 2021 when CSAL received a civil aircraft parts distributor certificate from the Civil Aviation Maintenance Association of China (CAMAC).

CSAL has also teamed up with other parties for end-of-life projects. In January 2019, for example, it signed an agreement with Hong Kong-based China Aircraft Leasing (CALC), which partially owns a teardown company, to sell three second-hand A320s and one A320 airframe—all previously operated by China Southern—via Guangzhou Enterprises Mergers and Acquisition Services.

The aircraft were then sent to CALC’s aircraft recycling base in Harbin, China, for disassembly by that group's MRO joint venture, with disassembled components sold to committed overseas buyers.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.