Spirit AeroSystems Plans Expansions To Asia Repair Capabilities

Spirit AeroSystems plans to expand its global repair capabilities.
Credit: Spirit AeroSystems

Spirit AeroSystems can be expected to expand its repair capabilities now that it has finished integrating the Bombardier and Applied Aerodynamics assets it purchased in late 2020 and in 2021. “The point is to serve global customers locally,” says Kailash Krishnaswamy, senior vice president aftermarket services.

That was a driver for signing a joint venture (JV) with Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. (EGAT) in April 2021. Krishnaswamy expects the local Taiwanese aviation authority to certify the JV, Spirit Evergreen Aftermarket Solutions, in March, which would allow it to start repairing composite components such as thrust reversers and flight control surfaces there. He expects FAA approval midyear, followed by European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) and Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) approval.

“We will be doing a lot of [Boeing] 777 and 737 (maintenance) work from the local airlines” at the JV, Krishnaswamy says. Once the JV receives EASA approval, Spirit plans to take some of its Rolls-Royce Trent 700 and RB211 capabilities from its Belfast, Northern Ireland, facility, to Taiwan, to expand its business base in the Asia-Pacific region.

On the repair side of its business, “when I think about what capabilities we need to grow in the next 5-10 years and I think about the installed fleet, there is a massive amount of aircraft, probably 70% of the current installed [commercial] fleet, that is not in production,” he says. To be able to support those aircraft, such as Boeing 757s, 767s, 777s 737NGs and Airbus A320ceos, Spirit is investing in repair capability.

In parallel, it is planning how to support the next generation of aircraft—Boeing 737MAXs, 777Xs and 787s, and Airbus A320neos and A350s—as well. He says Spirit is actively seeking those capabilities through “license, make, buy—all options are open and on the table.”

Spirit AeroSystems targets growth of its aftermarket business revenue to $500 million by 2025. In 2021, it was about $240 million.

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.