By Aimee Turner in London

Boeing is poised to announce its European partner for the 787’s “GoldCare” maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) programme, with SR Technics viewed as the leading candidate.

GoldCare is a crucial part of Boeing’s all-inclusive package of servicing for the 787, whereby the manufacturer will broker maintenance between airlines and a global supply chain of technical service providers to keep the aircraft flying.

A senior industry source told Flight International that Boeing has made its selection of a European MRO facility for GoldCare and an announcement is imminent.

“If you look at the European 787 customer base there is virtually no one apart from Icelandair Technical Services – whose airline parent has ordered four 787s – who would have any 787 MRO capabilities,” says the source.

He adds that this leaves just the big independent European MROs as the potential candidates and that the likely winner will be the most ambitious: “And if you were speaking of ambition, SR Technics would definitely enter into the frame,” he says.

Observers say the Zurich-based MRO would certainly be a logical strategic choice, as last September it agreed a $325 million loan facility with GE Commercial Aviation Services – sister company of GE Aircraft Engines, which is producing one of the 787’s powerplants – secured against its Airbus and Boeing components inventory, to allow it to expand operations.

SR Technics declines to comment on whether it has been selected, saying only that the 787 “represents an interesting opportunity for us” and that it will be ensuring that it is “well positioned to support [787] customers”.

The GoldCare programme will offer all routine and heavy-check maintenance, similar to power-by-the-hour agreements offered by engine manufacturers, covering routine replacements of airframe parts, and equipment management.

Boeing is expected to announce its first GoldCare airline customer at next month’s Farnborough air show.

Source: Flight International