Ameco Beijing is planning to add more engine types to its service portfolio to ensure that it stays competitive in the engine overhaul sector.
The maintenance repair and overhaul firm has the ability to handle Rolls-Royce RB211-535 and Pratt & Whitney PW4000 series engines. It is now in discussions with engine makers to develop new capabilities for its facilities in Beijing, Teng Bin, its senior director for marketing and sales tells Flightglobal Pro.
By next year, it plans to be able to handle International Aero Engines V2500 series engines, and in the longer term, to work on bigger engine types.
"For the long term, it has not been decided yet. But, options include the Rolls-Royce Trent engines or the GE Aviation GEnx," says Teng.
Ameco Beijing handles 80 engine overhauls annually, which does not include the 300-400 smaller repairs it does on the engines.
Teng says that the MRO, which is a 60:40 joint venture between Air China and Lufthansa, has seen "double digit growth" in the last seven years, and he expects the growth to continue for at least another five years "without any problems".
Air China meanwhile is also planning to merge its own maintenance arm Air China Technics with Ameco Beijing by next year. Discussions to merge the two entities has been ongoing for several years now but progress has been slow because of Lufthansa's involvement in Ameco Beijing.
Teng would not say when he expects the merger to happen, but stressed that both Air China and Lufthansa are in favour of the move.
"Lufthansa will definitely remain in the picture," he adds.
It is unclear the size of the post-merger stake Lufthansa would hold and whether the Ameco name will be retained. Should Lufthansa not increase its stake, the merger with Air China Technics would likely lead to a reduced shareholding on the part of the German airline.
Air China and Lufthansa set up the MRO in 1989 with a 40-year joint venture contract.