SIA Engineering Targets Leap Aftermarket

The growing maintenance network for CFM Leap engines has expanded following a deal between Safran Aircraft Engines and SIA Engineering (SIAEC).

Under the 10-year contract, the Singaporean MRO will provide quick-turn and modification services for the Leap-1A and -1B from a dedicated facility that is expected to start operations in 2020.

“We look forward to expanding our activities with Safran Aircraft Engines on Leap-1A and Leap-1B quick turns and bringing the latest technology and processes to enhance our engine maintenance capabilities,” commented Png Kim Chiang, chief executive officer of SIAEC.

In the first half of SIAEC’s current financial year, engines and components accounted for S$55 million (US$44.4 million) of the MRO provider’s S$87.6 million (US$64.4 million) profit.

Although that was S$7 million (US$5.1 million) lower than the year-ago period, the MRO said this was due to “higher expenses incurred by an engine center as it gears up for new engine capabilities”.

It now seems clear that some of those expenses were for the Leap, capabilities on which will serve any MRO well through the next decade.

Aviation Week predicts that the LEAP population will overtake the number of in-service CFM56s by 2026. And although LEAP maintenance demand will creep up slowly at first, to less than $500 million annually by 2026, from then until 2029 it will rise steadily to reach about $3 billion annually.

“Through this agreement and the extension of their maintenance capabilities, SIAEC contributes to the maintenance, repair and overhaul ramp-up of the LEAP engine,” said Olivier Andriès, chief executive officer of Safran Aircraft Engines.

Safran is one half of the CFM joint venture.

For further analysis of changes in the CFM56 and LEAP aftermarket, see the dedicated feature in Engine Yearbook 2020.

Alex Derber

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