AIRSHOW CHINA: MTU expects Zhuhai facility to grow further

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MTU Maintenance has officially opened its expanded facility at Zhuhai and says it may undergo further expansion to meet burgeoning demand for engine overhauls from Chinese carriers.

The expanded facility is now capable of handling 300 shop visits per year of International Aero Engines V2500 and CFM International CFM56 series engines, compared with 200 previously.

MTU's president of commercial maintenance, Stefan Weingartner, says the facility has the ability to be expanded further in the future.

"We can do the same again, and we would then be able to do 400 shop visits a year if the market grows as expected," he told Flightglobal Pro.

Weingartner adds that the facility completed its 1,000th engine overhaul in 2011, and it now expects to reach the 2,000 mark in the next three to four years.

"The growth is really dramatic here in China," he says.

A large part of that growth is being driven by the needs of MTU's joint venture partner in the Zhuhai shop, China Southern Airlines, which is the biggest customer for the facility.

"If you look at the work split, about 50% of the work that we do here is coming from the growth of China Southern, and the other 50% is third party customers," says Weingartner.

"The interests of China Southern and MTU are very much aligned, it's a very smooth partnership," he says.

Weingartner adds that with its arrangements with China Southern, there could be scope to work on other engine types.

"With the China Southern fleet, we have a good base to move into the newer programmes, maybe even widebody engines," he says.