French maintenance provider Sabena Technics has been certificated to support the Airbus A350.

The Paris-headquartered MRO group will service the widebody type at its facility in Bordeaux, where it is modifying A380s on the manufacturer's behalf.

"Strong experience" with Airbus types at the site has been central to the extension of existing capabilities to the A350, says Sabena Technics airframe maintenance sales head Alain Leboucher. "We have been studying the aircraft [A350] and its connectivity systems so we could come up with solutions especially designed for the Airbus A350 operators."

The A380 was the first Airbus type to feature a new architecture under which an integrated network of computers control the aircraft's equipment, and that system formed the base for installations on the A350.

Sabena Technics' services for the A350 will cover airframe maintenance, "advanced" composite repairs, modifications and airworthiness management, says the MRO provider.

Airbus is, by a wide margin, Sabena Technics' main airframe maintenance customer, the latter's chief executive Philippe Rochet told Flightglobal at the Paris air show.

The MRO specialist conducted wing-rib modifications on A380s as part of an Airbus-managed programme until October 2014 and is now part of a similar scheme to modify passenger doors on the double-deck type, he says.

Some eight aircraft have been completed out of a total of 26 A380s being serviced by Sabena Technics under the door modification programme, he adds.

Sabena Technics is also maintaining Airbus's Beluga transport fleet, and opened two hangars in Toulouse earlier this year to paint newly built A320s on the manufacturer's behalf.

Source: Cirium Dashboard