Home' Asian Aviation : AAV Dec Jan2011 2012. Contents 26 AsianAviation | DECEMBER 2011 / JANUARY 2012
as the rst Trent 900 centre of excellence, supporting
Singapore Airlines eet of 19 Airbus A380s.
GEESM, which was set up in 1997 at the Sultan
Abdul Aziz Shah Airport in Subang , 25km outside
Kuala Lumpur, is a joint venture between GE
Aviation (with a 70 percent stake) and Malaysia
Airlines (with 30 percent). e company o ers
MRO ser vices for Pratt & Whitney (P&W)
PW4000 engines and CFM International CFM56-
3/5B, as well as an engine test cell that can handle
powerplants with up to 72,000lb thrust.
HAESL is a joint venture of Rolls-Royce, Hong
Kong Aircra Engineering (HAECO) and SIAEC.
It focuses on ser vices for Rolls-Royce RB211 and
Trent engines. ESA, meanwhile, is a joint venture
between SIA Engineering (with a 51 percent stake)
and P&W (with 49 percent). ESA o ers MRO
services for PW4000-series engines.
China s Ameco o ers full MRO capability for
RB211-535 E4 and E4B engines. It also has an
engine test cell handling up to 100,000lb of thrust.
Air China, CFM venture
SSAMC is a joint venture between Air China,
which holds 60 percent stake, and CFM, with 40
percent. e company was set up in December
2010, a er three years of complex negotiations
between Air China and CFM before the Chinese
government gave the green light for the venture.
SSAMC s facility at Chengdu-Shuangliu
airport provides overhaul ser vices for CFM56-
5B and -3/7B engines, which power Air China s
narrowbody eet of about 200 Airbus A320 and
Boeing 737 Next-Generation jetliners. Air China s
four, widebody Airbus A340-300 quad-jets are
powered by CFM56-5C engines, which are also
overhauled at the joint venture.
In the wake of the global economic downturn,
which sti ed demand for air travel, things are once
again looking brighter for the global aviation industry.
Continued economic uncertainty, resurgent fuel
prices and external factors such as the European
volcanic ash cloud slowed the industry s growth
in 2010, leading to a number of aircra being
grounded, which resulted in a decline in the engine
However, with analysts predicting a fresh
surge in air tra c over the next two decades, led
by Asia, the engine MRO market is set to grow
apace. TeamSai says the value of the global MRO
market will expand by about 10.8 percent in 2011,
to US$46.9 billion, with engine MRO being the
largest segment, accounting for US$21.6 billion of
Bride forecasts that this growth will continue,
with the market expanding to US$27.1 billion in
2016, then US$32.6 billion by 2021.
China is projected to claim a major slice of global
engine MRO revenue. Several joint ventures are
clamouring to set up shop to tap growing MRO
demand for the CFM56, which powers 737, A320
and A340 jetliners.
CFM56 and IAE V2500 engines -- which are
also o ered on the A320 -- are widely-used in Asia.
MRO ser vice providers describe the powerplants
as 'cash cows , helped by the growth of low-cost
carriers, which tend to operate 737 or A320 eets.
An estimated 3,000 CFM56 engines are
operating in the region, with China-based carriers
accounting for more than half of that total.
The latest foreign MRO ser vice provider
to enter the Chinese market is Singapore s ST
Aerospace, which has formed a partnership with
Xiamen Aviation Industry (XAIC). Known as ST
Aerospace Technologies (Xiamen) (STATCO) the
joint venture will provide engine MRO and total-
support ser vices, initially for CFM56-7B and -5B
The venture s US$78 million 38,620 square
metre facility -- located near Xiamen Gaoqi
International Airport -- opened on 11 October,
o ering capacity to support as many as 300 engines
annually. STATCO received Part 145 certi cation
from the Civil Aviation Administration of China
(CAAC) the day the company opened its doors. It
also has certi cation from the US Federal Aviation
Administration (FAA) and Korea s Ministry of
Land, Transport and Maritime A airs, covering the
maintenance of CFM56-7B engines used by airlines
registered in those two countries.
e rst engine accepted for maintenance at
the STATCO facility was a CFM56-7B from
Xiamen Airlines, which required full performance
restoration, including the replacement of life-limited
parts, engine testing and engine parts repairs.
STATCO offers a state-of-the-art, fully
computerised data-acquisition engine-test facility,
capable of testing engines up to 90,000lb thrust.
e facility complements ST Aerospace s engine
MRO site in Singapore, which can handle up to
350 engines annually.
STATCO is one of the few Chinese MRO joint-
ventures that lacks the involvement of a major
local airline partner. XIAC is a high-technolog y,
export-oriented company, mainly focused on the
development of the aerospace, aircra maintenance
and related industries in Xiamen.
GFM AeroAsia ambitions
In Indonesia, meanwhile, Garuda s Jakarta-based
maintenance unit GFM AeroAsia has plans to
expand its engine capability to include the CFM56-
7B. CFM International, which has a 15-year
contract to provide MRO services for the engines
that power Garuda s 737-800 eet, is also helping
to provide AeroAsia with the expertise required to
add this capability.
Most CFM56-7B engines now in ser vice
worldwide are becoming due for maintenance,
while some of their life-limited parts may need
replacing. e -7B model was built speci cally for
One challenge facing engine MRO providers in
Asia is the shortage of skills for specialist process.
Poaching of local skilled and trained personnel is
widespread, with many lured away to lucrative jobs
in the Middle East.
According to one training manager, it is o en
the case that as soon as specialised technicians gain
some experience, they are courted with attractive job
o ers from one big engine MRO service provider.
" ere is nothing much that we could no, and there
is only so much that we could counter o er," he says.
Although labour costs are rising in Asia, they
remain lower than in Europe and the US. Hong
Kong and Singapore have the highest labour costs,
while rates in China and Malaysia are also on the rise,
as skilled engineers demand larger pay packets.
TeamSai says the value of the global MRO market will
expand by about 10.8 percent in 2011, to US$46.9 billion,
with engine MRO being the largest segment, accounting
for US$21.6 billion of that amount
MRO service providers describe the widely used
CFM56 and V2500 engines as 'cash cows .
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