Middle Eastern engine shop Turbine Services & Solutions has a unique position in the MRO sector.
Outside the Rolls-Royce network of wholly or part-owned Trent-series engine shops, TS&S is the sole maintenance provider that has full overhaul capability for the Airbus A330-powering Trent 700, acting chief executive Mansoor Janahi tells FlightGlobal.
In 2017, says Janahi, the Abu Dhabi-based company handled the first independent Trent 700 shop visit, involving an engine used by SriLankan Airlines; the vast majority of Trents are covered by R-R service agreements.
However, TS&S sees its role as a steadfast partner of, rather than competitor to, the engine manufacturers.
"We've got good relationships with all the OEMs, and our strategy is very much an OEM-led strategy," says Janahi.
He highlights that the Middle East has limited engine overhaul capacity despite the sizeable market presented by a fleet which has expanded rapidly. Much of the region's engine maintenance requirements are handled by service providers in Asia and Europe.
TS&S's role is to serve as "gateway to the Middle East" for engine OEMs, he says.
Janahi declines to disclose the company's revenue, but says the number of serviced engines has tripled since TS&S was established as a standalone engine overhaul provider in 2014.
Previously, the shop was part of Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies.
When that company's parent Mubadala restructured its MRO activities, ADAT's airframe and component repair activities were transferred to Etihad Airways, becoming the carrier's engineering division.
The engine shop was renamed, but remained under Mubadala ownership.
In addition to Trent 700s, TS&S supports GE Aviation GEnx powerplants, International Aero Engines V2500s, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 turboprops and even industrial gas turbines, although the majority of its business is generated by aero engines.
Support for the GEnx was established after GE and Mubadala in 2013 disclosed an MRO partnership for the engine, variants of which power Boeing 787s and 747-8s.
Today, TS&S can complete quick-turn repairs on the GEnx. Janahi says the company is in discussion with GE to expand that capability to full overhauls, adding that this should happen "ideally as soon as possible".
In parallel with the GE co-operation, Mubadala in 2013 revealed a similar, separate partnership with R-R to service Airbus A350-powering Trent XWB engines.
Janahi says that while talks with R-R continue about the project, no timeline has yet been set for establishment of Trent XWB support capability.
The UK engine maker's recent efforts to increase MRO capacity – in order to deal with in-service issues affecting 787-powering Trent 1000s – have had no impact on TS&S's operations and future business plan, says Janahi.
He believes that the GEnx and Trent XWB represent a large enough business volume to sustain TS&S's future operations.
Meanwhile, the V2500 maintenance market is set for sustained expansion as a result of single-aisle fleet growth over recent years.
Janahi confirms, however, that TS&S is in talks with OEMs to establish capabilities for additional engines types. "Hopefully there is more," he says.
He acknowledges that support of Pratt & Whitney's geared turbofans or the CFM International Leap series would represent a huge market with a broad base of potential customers.
The two engines – the Leap powers both the 737 Max and A320neo, while the PW1100G is an option on the Airbus aircraft – will be "strong platforms" in the region, he says.
Any new capabilities for TS&S would be added in partnership with an OEM, however.
Janahi rejects any notion that the overhaul shop might serve as a pure local-labour provider for the engine manufacturers.
He points to TS&S's "very advanced" MRO and testing capabilities that result in a "very competitive… value proposition".
Describing the facility as the Middle East's "most advanced engine MRO", he says TS&S's mission is not just to overhaul engines at required quality and turnaround time but to improve airlines' operation and overall performance.
"There are a handful of players today that have got the track record, qualification, people, knowledge, presence [and] a global customer base, [who] can do this here in the Middle East... The region is hungry for the OEM presence," says Janahi.
Source: Cirium Dashboard