Generous project timing and close co-operation with partners were central for the establishment of Boeing 787 support capabilities at Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance, in the view of the MRO provider's head of strategy Rob Pruim.

"We really started early because we knew this new technology would really ask for change," Pruim tells FlightGlobal.

Efforts included staff training, development of new maintenance processes, and establishment of IT systems to handle the increased volume of technical data automatically transmitted from the aircraft. But he says it was also crucial to work closely together with other departments at the airline – such as flight operations and IT – and external stakeholders too.

AFI KLM E&M had secured 787 maintenance contracts from several airlines that introduced the type before it entered service with KLM in 2015. Air France is set to start using the 787 on scheduled flights in January 2017. "You need time… because it is not easy. You need to train your people, to change processes. Not just in Amsterdam and Paris, but [at line maintenance stations] worldwide," says Pruim.

He adds that AFI KLM E&M benefited from Air France’s introduction of the Airbus A380 – which also has a highly integrated IT architecture – and that the experience with the 787 will help, in turn, preparations for the A350: "We will copy and paste as much as possible the procedures and processes we have implemented for the 787."

Overhaul capability for the Dreamliner's General Electric GEnx engines has been established in Amsterdam, while A350-powering Trent XWB engines are to be supported at AFI KLM E&M's engine shop at Paris Orly airport. Pruim indicates that the MRO group will avoid duplication of repair capabilities for engines and components across its network. But he says the 787 and A350 will each be serviced in Amsterdam and Paris as both Air France and KLM will operate the two types.

Source: Cirium Dashboard