South Korea’s Asiana Airlines has opted to maintain components on its future Airbus A380 fleet through the airframer’s Flight Hour Services aftermarket support programme.
The carrier has signed a 10-year maintenance contract for an “extensive scope” of line-replaceable units, covering spare-part pool access, equipment repairs and provision of stock at the airline’s main base at Seoul Incheon airport as well as “selected outstations”, Airbus says.
Asiana is due to receive its first of six ordered A380s in the second quarter of 2014 and plans to operate the Rolls-Royce Trent 800-powered aircraft on transpacific routes from Seoul to US destinations.
The airline is the fifth A380 operator that has opted for Airbus’s FHS support programme after British Airways, China Southern Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Thai Airways.
Air France and Lufthansa – both of which have MRO divisions with significant third-party business – have pooled their financial and technical resources for A380 component support in their Spairliners joint venture due to the relatively small global fleet of the double-deck aircraft and high spare-part costs.
Qantas elected to support its A380 fleet through Spairliners, too.
BA considered undertaking A380 components maintenance in its own repair shops, but decided against it due to lack of sufficient scale and the limited potential market for third-party custom. Meanwhile, the UK carrier decided to support Boeing 787 components in its facilities – and to this end teamed up with parts specialist AJ Walter Aviation – as the twinjet’s larger operator base offers a more promising marketplace.
Airbus currently has 306 orders for the superjumbo from 18 airlines. The airframer has delivered 125 A380s to 10 operators.