Julian Moxon/PARIS

Snecma Services chairman Marc Ventre is developing an "aggressive" expansion plan and aims to secure a partner before year-end to co-develop its on-wing engine maintenance operation.

The wholly-owned subsidiary of Snecma Moteurs last month opened Europe's first centre for the repair of high-pressure compressor components on the CFM56 turbofan (jointly manufactured by Snecma and General Electric) after forming a new company, International Compressor Technologies, with surface coatings specialist Praxair of the USA.

Customer operations director Jacques Renvier says the "principal target" for Snecma Services is now to find a partner "to develop our on-wing maintenance activities". That partner could be another engine repair specialist or an airline, given the need to fly tooling worldwide. In addition to the CFM56 turbofan, it is also looking at engines such as GE's CF6-50/80, which Snecma helped to design.

Sales last year were Fr2.44 billion ($324 million) - up 15% on 1998 - and are expected to rise to Fr3 billion by 2002. The company has just received Fr350 million from Snecma Moteurs to invest in new maintenance joint ventures with airlines, in addition to recent agreements with Sabena, Royal Air Maroc and China Southwest.

New contracts signed last year included a 10-year deal with Northwest Airlines for A320 fleet engine maintenance. Renvier says a US joint venture must be formed to bid for upcoming "big maintenance contracts".

Source: Flight International