MRO USA: StandardAero interested in expanding into CF34-10 maintenance

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Entrenched GE C34-3 and -8 repair company StandardAero is interested in broadening its capabilities to cover -10 model powering the Embraer E-190/195 and the ARJ21.

Company director of marketing Mike Turner speaking to Flightglobal at MRO Americas says while StandardAero is currently focusing on CF34-8 maintenance, the -10 "is something we're studying very seriously".

The company's launch of CF34-10 capability is largely a matter of timing and securing a license from GE, says Turner. But maintaining the variant is "something we are definitely pursuing".

StandardAero has also started minor repair work on CFM56-7B engines powering Boeing 737s operated by Canadian carrier WestJet at its Winnipeg facility.

In June 2009, GE and WestJet signed an engine maintenance deal for the CFM56-7Bs worth $850 million, which entails StandardAero maintaining the engines through a licensing agreement with GE. GE and Snecma are joint venture partners in CFM International.

The CF34 and CFM56 engines in Winnipeg are on the same production line, says Tuner. But StandardAero is in the midst of completing a new "stack and de-stack" CFM56 cell, which allows for component removal and reassembly in the cell once work component work is complete.

Based on "a lot of similarities" between the CF34 an CFM56, StandardAero opted to use the same production line for component maintenance for each engine, says Turner, and StandardAero could be the only maintenance provider "combining two lines like this", he adds.

Event though WestJet is a committed customer for StandardAero for CFM56-7B maintenance, StandardAero's "go to market and marketing plans [for the CFM56-7] have not launched as of yet", says Turner. The roll-out should occur in the next few months.

"We were in a unique position with WestJet where we landed the contract before we had the physical facilities to do the work on the engines," Turner explains.

In the short term StandardAero is focusing on -7B maintenance, but Turner says offering CFM56-5 series maintenance is a possibility.

It remains uncertain if StandardAero will offer CFM56-3 maintenance, since a lot of competition already exists in engine maintenance and repair for that variant, says Turner.