Asia’s Aftermarket Advances Facilities, Capabilities
1. Freighter Conversion Growth
Product: Guangzhou Aircraft Maintenance Engineering Co. (Gameco) launched a dedicated hangar for Boeing Converted Freighters in February. It began its first 767-300BCF conversion in April, becoming the first company in China to perform these types of conversions. It plans to open a second 767 conversion line by the year-end to meet growing demand for freighter conversions. To support this growth, it signed an integrated materials management contract with Boeing Global Services in July.
2. New Engine-Repair Facilities
Product: Safran announced plans in July to establish a $150 million MRO facility in Hyderabad, India, for overhaul of Leap 1A and 1B engines. The shop will initially perform 250 engine overhauls annually, and Safran plans to create 500-600 jobs there. At the Singapore Airshow in February, Safran’s nacelles repair division announced plans to open a new repair facility in Suzhou, China, in the second quarter. It will repair Leap 1A engine nacelles under Civil Aviation Administration of China and European Union Aviation Safety Agency approvals.
3. New Component, Engine Ventures
Company: SIA Engineering Co.
Product: SIA Engineering Co. (SIAEC) signed a memorandum of understanding in April to potentially lease two hangars in Subang, Malaysia. As part of its agreement in February to acquire a 75% stake in SR Technics Malaysia, it announced plans to establish a component repair joint venture in the country. SIAEC also opened a S$9 million ($6.5 million) CFM Leap 1A and 1B Aircraft Engine Services facility in February, which has capacity to perform at least 60 engine quick turns annually.
4. Digital Developments
Company: Asia Digital Engineering
Product: Asia Digital Engineering (ADE) announced plans at the Singapore Airshow to build integrated MRO facilities at Kuala Lumpur International Airport capable of servicing 14 commercial aircraft simultaneously. The 380,000-ft.2 facilities will include dedicated component workshops and a digital product development center. It recently launched a new digital product, Aerotrade, which is an aerospace business-to-business marketplace platform that ADE says is the first of its kind in the region. Aerotrade is aimed at simplifying legacy processes of buying and selling aircraft parts and aviation-related services.
5. Greater Capabilities, Space
Company: Collins Aerospace
Product: Collins Aerospace is investing $27 million to relocate its MRO facilities in China and Malaysia. It will quadruple its footprint in Malaysia, adding new capabilities for air cycle machines, heat exchangers, engine starters, valves and actuator systems. It plans to nearly double the size of its facility in Xiamen, China, which services components such as avionics, evacuation slides and fuel control systems. In January, Collins introduced component exchange services in Malaysia for the 568F propellers on ATR turboprops.
6. Accelerating Technology, Engine Network
Company: Pratt & Whitney
Product: Pratt & Whitney is expanding its geared turbofan (GTF) engine MRO network in the Asia-Pacific region with five more engine maintenance centers, which will bring its total in the region to eight. These include Korean Air’s Maintenance and Engineering Division, which Pratt added to its GTF MRO Network in December. It plans to hire nearly 900 employees this year to support growing demand, more than one-third of which will be in the region. It is also accelerating technology initiatives across its Asia-Pacific aftermarket sites, including 3D printing, robotics and digital twins.
7. Constructing New Facilities
Company: MTU Maintenance Zhuhai
Product: MTU Maintenance Zhuhai began construction in March on a new training facility in China, which is expected to begin operations at the beginning of 2023. The school plans to train between 50 and 100 engine maintenance mechanics annually. It is also building a new engine disassembly, assembly and testing facility in the Jinwan district of Zhuhai, which is expected to begin operations in 2024. As the first active Pratt & Whitney geared turbofan MRO facility in China, it inducted its first of the engine type in September 2021.