Snecma to build CFM56 shop due to India growth

 - December 1, 2006, 6:12 AM

Snecma Services is looking forward to establishing a new CFM56 engine maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) shop in India. The expected rapid growth of the Indian air transport market is calling for setting up such a facility by 2008. Currently, there is no CFM shop in the country and the French-based company maintains its customers’ engines in Europe.

“We are talking to government-owned airlines [Air-India, Indian, and its subsidiary Alliance Air are the three state-owned airlines in India.] to jointly create a CFM shop,” Snecma Services chairman and CEO Jean-Lin Fournereaux said. He added that third-party customers, and more precisely, privately owned carriers would be welcome. In other words, the stakeholder airline’s engines should not havepriority in the MRO work. Negotiations are under way and areexpected to be finalized soon.

Jet Airways and Air Sahara are Snecma Services customers. Snecma Services is currently offering a support package on a per-flight-hour basis to SpiceJet. Go Air is currently selecting aircraft and engines for an upcoming order and is thus being offered some services, he said.

Late last year, Snecma Services won a 20-year contract to support Air China’s CFM56 engines. The carrier, which is also Snecma’s partner in Sichuan Snecma Aero-engine Maintenance Co. (SSAMC), has a growing fleet of CFM engines that today stands at 200.

It is already servicing the Boeing 737’s CFM56-3 engines but is upgrading its MRO facilities to be able to service CFM56-5Bs (Airbus A320 family) and -7Bs (Boeing 737 NG) beginning in 2007. “By 2012, our capacity will have increased to 100 engines per year,” the CEO stressed.