AFI KLM E&M has signed a 15 year deal with Air China to support the latter’s GE90 engines on its Boeing 777 fleet on a power-by-the-hour basis.
Within Air China Group, 20 passenger aircraft are operated and up to 8 freighters will be operated.
This brings the global GE90 engines support by AFI KLM E&M to close to 400 worldwide, with other airlines in the Asia-Pacific region including Vietnam Airlines and Philippine Airlines.
The MRO provider has a Very Big Engines (VBE) test cell in Paris that has been certified by China’s CAAC. The agreement also involves subsidiary CRMA, which specialises in repairing spare parts.
“We are very focussed on costs and repair, rather than replacement,” Fabrice Defrance, SVP commercial AFI KLM E&M said. The agreement also covers on-wing support.
Defrance said that the deal cemented AFI KLM E&M’s position as the “alternative to the OEM” for the GE90, adding that they are not just very competitive on price, but also help customer airlines by sharing high accumulated operational and engineering experiences on such engines that both AF and KL are widely operating.
Chai Weixi, Senior Vice President of Air China limited, stated: “The ability of AFI KLM E&M to offer us a dedicated, customized support program and to abide by our tender procedure helped to strengthen the climate of trust between our two groups. We have been talking and working closely together for many years, enabling us to become closer and to gain a better idea of the expectations of each party. We are certain that this understanding, combined with AFI KLM E&M’s know-how and skills with respect to GE90 maintenance, will make a positive contribution to the effectiveness of the support we will be offered.”
The deal also saw the European MRO provider and Air China Technics “express their intention to extend the scope of their cooperation in the aircraft maintenance sphere.” Part of this will see a KLM 747-400 undergo a heavy check at Ameco Beijing, the joint venture between Air China and Lufthansa Technik.