Home' Asian Aviation : AAV June 2011 Contents 32 AsianAviation | JUNE 2011
of the country's airline eets, more foreign, local and
joint venture companies are expected to set up shop
over the next year.
ere are now about 400 MRO companies in
China , o ering ser vices from repairs for the smallest
of components to airframe heavy maintenance and
e CAAC has successfully managed to reduce the
number of small companies performing sub-standard
component-repair work, following complaints from
more established MRO ser vice providers, which had
to x shoddy repair work.
Some smaller airlines operating on tight budgets
had used the services of these questionable
companies. Tight monitoring by the CAAC has now
resulted in some would-be MRO companies losing
Since mid-2010, Air China has been considering
merging its in-house maintenance operation, Air
China Engineering and Technics (ACET) with
Aircra Maintenance Engineering Corp (Ameco
Beijing), the airline's joint venture with Lu hansa.
Ameco has remained tight-lipped on the proposal.
Air China's ACET subsidiary started operations
in 2004. It has maintenance operations in Tianjin,
Shanghai, Chengdu, Hohhot, Hangzhou and
e airline holds a 60 percent stake in Ameco,
with the remaining 40 percent in the hands of
Germany's Lu hansa. Ameco is the biggest MRO
service provider in China, with a customer base of
about 80 Chinese and western airlines.
As Airbus continues to deliver its A380 -- the
world's largest airliner -- to customers in Asia,
MRO ser vice providers are tapping into demand for
maintenance of the expanding eet.
China Southern Airlines has signed up with
Airbus for the aircra manufacturer's A380 ight-
hour ser vices (FHS) programme, which o ers on-
site availability of line-replaceable units, along with
related logistics and maintenance services. China
Southern is the second A380 customer to opt for the
FHS program. e other is Singapore Airlines (SIA)
which inked a ten-year agreement for expanded
SIA's maintenance unit SIAEC has expanded its
capabilities to include heavy airframe maintenance
for the A380-800, as well as the Boeing 737NG.
e company has invested signi cantly in training
sta to support the A380, purchasing tooling and
equipment and the construction of the state-of-the-
art A380 hangar, which opened in February 2010.
SIAEC will support its parent airline's eet of 19
A380s, 11 of which are already in operation. e
remaining eight will be delivered by the end of March
ai Airways International and Malaysia Airlines
(MAS) the other two A380 customers in South-
East Asia, each with orders for six aircra , have
yet to decide on maintenance ser vice providers for
the aircra . Deliveries of the jetliners to MAS will
begin in March 2012, while ai's rst aircra will
be handed over eight months later.
SIAEC said is optimistic about the outlook for its
business, relying on the diversity of its portfolio to
meet challenges in the market. e company o ers
a broad range of MRO ser vices covering airframes,
engines, components, and materials. e company
also carries out passenger-to-freighter conversions
and cabin modi cations, while o ering a Fleet and
Asset Management Programme, allowing it to tap
into niche markets.
MASAE said it is monitoring movements in the
market to determine if there is a need to increase
capacity. e company's six existing hangars o er 28
maintenance slots for a combination of single- and
twin-aisle aircra .
e MAS unit's capabilities cover airframe heavy
maintenance for all commercial aircraft flying
today, except the A380. MASAE has expanded
from supporting only its parent airline's eet, into a
leading Asia-Paci c MRO operation.
According to MASAE's Roslan, the company is
the h largest MRO ser vice provider in the world
With a base of more than 100 European, US and
Asia-Paci c customers today, MASAE has ambitious
expansion plans to become the world's number-one
"Demand for slots until the end of 2011 is still
strong," Roslan said, adding that global demand will
probably be more or less steady this year for airframe
maintenance. " is is because maintenance plans
for airline operators are usually long-term, and most
have been planned, determined and scheduled,"
GMF AeroAsia, a unit of Garuda Indonesia, is
gearing up to expand its capacity and capabilities over
the next four years in an e ort to tap the Chinese
MRO market and support the growth of Garuda's
eet. Airframe heavy maintenance capabilities will
be expanded to include A330 and A320 jetliners, as
well as C-checks for 777 aircra starting in 2012.
The company is investing US$50 million in
a fourth hangar at Jakarta's Soekarno-Hatta
International Airport. Construction will start in
the rst week of June and is slated for completion
a year later. GMF said there is tremendous potential
in the Chinese market, adding that it hopes to secure
CAAC certi cation to enable it to market its ser vices
in the country.
Garuda is planning to expand its eet from 84
aircra now to 122 by 2014.
"Demand for slots until the end of 2011 is still strong." -- MASAE
Managing Director Mohd Roslan Ismail
In China, engine MRO work
accounts for about 39 percent
of revenue in the sectory.
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