Egyptair reaches out for third-party MRO business

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Egyptair Maintenance & Engineering is looking to boost third-party customers' share of volume from 20% to 50% by 2018 - despite its parent airline's dramatic growth, which has seen its fleet double in four years.

This year, the MRO will begin offering third-party engine services from a shop it opened as a joint venture with Rolls-Royce and Lufthansa Technik in Cairo in 2009. The facility has full overhaul capability for International Aero Engines V2500-A1/A5 (A320 family) and CFM International CFM56-5C (A340-200/300) powerplants.

Disassembly and assembly to module level and testing capability are available for the Rolls-Royce Trent 700 (A330), CFM56-3C (737-300/400/500), Pratt & Whitney PW4090 (777) and PW4158 (A300-600). The CFM56-7B series for 737-600/700/800/900 aircraft will be added in 2014. Annual capacity is 75 engines; 12 can be worked on simultaneously.

egytpair maintenance, © egytpair maintenance & engineering
 © EgytpAir Maintenance & Engineering
Rolls-Royce and Lufthansa Technik are partners in Egyptair's engine shop

The first phase since the opening was to establish the centre and stabilise work processes among its 160 staff. At the end of 2010, the turnaround time for engine overhauls was 90 days, but the plan is to reduce this to 60-70 days when third-party work begins, says Abdel Aziz Fadel, Egyptair Maintenance & Engineering's chairman and chief executive.

Local labour rates are 50-60% below the corresponding remuneration levels in western Europe, says Fadel, but staff pay contributes only about 20% to the total engine overhaul cost, with the rest based on material costs.

For the airframe maintenance business, the company plans to build four new hangars by 2025. Currently, three hangars are available to work on up to nine aircraft. Construction of the first new, three-bay hangar will begin in 2014. Two more facilities with four bays each will follow in 2016-17 and 2020-21 and the fourth hangar is due to go up in 2025.

MORE WORK SHIFTS

But capacity will not grow just in terms of facility space. Egyptair M&E wants to introduce a second work shift this year, and plans a third one in the future. These extra shifts should increase total capacity by 20-30%, says Fadel. The company employs about 5,000 staff.

A delegation from Nordam visited Egyptair M&E late last year to discuss a possible engine nacelle overhaul joint venture. Fadel declines to reveal details about the talks, but says a decision may be reached in the first quarter of 2011. He says the MRO provider has been approached by some other companies, among them Goodrich and Spirit, and that Egyptair M&E is "open to any kind of co-operation".

The company wants to move away from being just a maintenance provider to selling comprehensive support packages. These could cover, for example, continuous airworthiness management planning and engineering services, as well as access to Egyptair's component inventory. So far, 16 of the company's 100 or so customers have opted for its total support packages.