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December 2016

New A380 MRO centre by Etihad and Airbus bookmark

Etihad Airways Engineering and Airbus have signed an MoU to work jointly on the development of a new A380 MRO services offering in Abu Dhabi for worldwide A380 operators, starting in 2017.


The partnership aims to establish maintenance, engineering and upgrade capabilities to provide efficient turnkey solutions for airlines, performed concurrently ‘under one roof’. In addition, all necessary consumable and expendable parts (needed for the heavy checks, upgrades and service bulletin embodiment) will be provided on-site by Airbus’ dedicated inventory management subsidiary, Satair Group.


The service will also be particularly useful to those A380 operators who already have in-house MRO capability but whose own facilities are fully booked and therefore need to offload some heavy checks and upgrades to a third-party facility that is backed by Airbus.


Airbus and Etihad Airways Engineering have a long-standing history of successful collaboration on delivering A380 MRO services. Etihad Airways Engineering also just recently delivered Etihad Airways’ first A380 heavy maintenance C check along with an extensive cabin refresh ahead of schedule.

Lufthansa Technik ready for the A350 bookmark

Lufthansa Technik says it has received comprehensive approvals from the German Federal Aviation Office (LBA) enabling it to perform all work required for the complete maintenance of the new Lufthansa Airbus A350-900. The handing over of the Base Maintenance Approval certificate by the LBA brings to an end an intense period of preparation.


More than 100 employees of Lufthansa Technik spent in excess of 18 monthsworking in eight related sub-projects. The aircraft will be based in Munich and 28 employees in aircraft maintenance are already extensively qualified for the new aircraft type. Another 200 will complete training in areas such as new methods of damage detection and repair for carbon fibre-reinforced structures among others. Lufthansa Technik will invest just under 10,000 course days in this training.


The maintenance concept was developed in close cooperation between the company’s Aircraft Maintenance department in Munich and Engineering in Frankfurt. Engineers will relocate their offices from Frankfurt to Munich when operations commence. There will also be employees from Airbus, Rolls-Royce and Panasonic on hand to provide support in the first few weeks so that a high level of technical reliability can be ensured from the outset.


The aircraft will undergo some additional work before entry into service, the most important part being the installation of Premium Economy Class. Special fittings requested by Lufthansa such as self-service racks are being specified by Engineering in Frankfurt and approved for installation by Engineering in Hamburg in the Aircraft Modifications unit. As these adaptations are equivalent to a modification, they have to be approved by an EASA STC.


Lufthansa Technik received EASA Part 21/J provisions (Design Organization Approval) at the start of the year, allowing it to develop and approve repairs and modifications to a limited extent under its own responsibility.


A spares inventory of more than 5,000 new part numbers is available in stock in Munich, including consumables and operating materials. Meanwhile, Lufthansa Technik Logistik Services (LTLS) has enlarged its spare parts warehouse in Munich by 3,200m² to handle some 700 different Airbus A350 components. In addition, parts for 15 other aircraft types are also stored there. Following the commissioning of the extended warehouse, local storage areas at the airport can now be released promptly, as the new main warehouse will be home to all materials in future. The reduction in intra-company transports will lead to optimal material flows and transport routes as well as synergy effects through the centralisation of the operative business. The extension is fitted out with modern warehouse technology, such as an automatic storage rack system. This technology is an important prerequisite for developing additional digitally supported optimisation potential.

New Boeing MRO Hangar at Gatwick bookmark

Boeing and London Gatwick Airport (LGW) have announced plans to build a commercial aviation maintenance hangar at the airport. The proposed facility, subject to local authority planning permission, would support Boeing’s European GoldCare customers. The facility will also add engineering capacity at Gatwick to support airlines as the airport continues its growth in both short and long haul services.


The development would further strengthen a joint commitment made by the UK government and Boeing in July 2016 on a long-term initiative for prosperity and growth in the UK. The multi-million pound facility is expected to support more than 100 jobs at Boeing and its suppliers in the Gatwick area.


Gatwick Airport will complete an environmental study before the proposed plan is brought before the local planning authority for review. Subject to approval of the plan, Boeing would begin construction in late 2017 and open for operations in 2018. The precise nature and location of the hangar on the Gatwick site will be announced at a later date.

New Chinese landing gear JV bookmark

Xi’an Eastern Safran Landing Systems Services is a new joint venture between Safran Landing Systems and China Eastern Airlines. It will specialise in Airbus A320 Family and Boeing 737 work, primarily for the Chinese domestic market where these aircraft are reaching maturity, which means that they will require general overhauls of their landing gear. The construction of the company’s new plant, spanning some 10,000m², will start in the first half of 2017 with operations expected to start in 2018.

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