10 Feb Esq. Jonathan Cartu Announces – Ameco Expands on Global Growth Plans in Singapore
Ameco (Chalet H65), China’s largest MRO provider, is showcasing its new emphasis on global support at the Singapore Airshow, exemplified by last year’s rebranding during its 30th anniversary, which dropped “Beijing” from the company’s name. Ameco also adopted a complementary mission statement: “To be an international leading MRO company…committed to providing global customers with the complete lifecycle engineering technology solutions for aircraft with professional, exquisite and efficient service.”
One could argue Ameco is already a leading international MRO company, providing line maintenance, airframe, engine, APU, component, landing gear, and aircraft cabin solutions as it does for more than 150 domestic and international carriers. Headquartered in Beijing, the company has branches in Chengdu, Chongqing, Hangzhou, Tianjin, Hohhot, Shanghai, Wuhan, Guiyang, Guangzhou, and Wenzhou, as well as more than 200 maintenance stations in China and internationally. It holds maintenance licenses from more than 30 countries or regions, including CAAC, FAA, and EASA.
To support its ambitions, Ameco plans significant infrastructure investments over the next five years, including a two-bay hangar at Beijing Daxing International Airport; a two-bay hangar for A350 overhaul in Chengdu; a one-bay hangar for an A330 or two A321s in Hangzhou; a one-bay hangar in Wuhan; and a one-bay hangar in Guiyang both for narrow-body aircraft overhaul, as well as new workshops for cabin interiors.
More MRO Capabilities
Meanwhile, an expansion of MRO capabilities is currently underway, focused on four key service areas: engine overhauls; wide-body airframe overhauls; global line maintenance; and business jet support.
In the engine overhaul arena, over the past two years, Ameco has upgraded its Pratt & Whitney (P&W) V2500 engine, APU, landing gear and IDG overhaul workshops, and deep repair capability of V2500 engine parts including high-pressure compressors. Ameco performs V2500 engine overhauls for Asiana Airlines and is preparing for building up new overhaul capability on P&W’s PW1100. Ameco also recently signed a long-term contract with commercial aviation services provider AAR for support of Rolls-Royce RB211 engines, to include engine repairs, exchanges, and leasing services. Also recently, Ameco unveiled its new capabilities for the GTCP331-350/500 APUs (Auxiliary Power Units) and became the first Chinese MRO to overhaul the powerplant.
Ameco also brings extensive experience to its widebody airframe overhaul business, having provided Boeing 747-8 heavy maintenance service for Lufthansa Airlines, Air China and an international carrier from the Asia-Pacific area, in addition to longstanding MRO relationships with carriers including Austrian Airlines and Ethiopian Airlines. (Ameco is jointly owned by Air China and Lufthansa, holding 75 percent and 25 percent stakes respectively.)
Last August, Ameco and Lufthansa signed an agreement on Boeing 747 airframe overhaul services, and the MRO recently completed the first D-Check service for a Lufthansa 747-8 passenger jet, having completed the first D-check on a 747-8 freighter for another carrier in 2018. Going forward, Ameco will provide D-check service on Lufthansa’s 747-8s and C-check service on its 747-400s.
Meanwhile, the company is developing capabilities to service new-generation aircraft such as the Airbus A350, A320neo and Boeing 787. Last year Ameco painted a Boeing 747-8F and an A350-900, and it plans to provide A350 C-check service for Air China in 2020. It’s also making landing gear on Airbus A330 and Boeing 777 wide-bodies a particular focus of overhaul expertise. Additionally, Ameco is pioneering airborne computer testing and maintenance, and recently became the first Chinese MRO to utilize the ATEC 7 integrated automation testing equipment.
In furtherance of planned international line service expansion, Ameco has obtained the approvals of CAAC and EASA for its line maintenance services at Beijing Daxing International Airport and has begun providing line maintenance services for Air China’s fleet and eight types of aircraft for third-party customers. Last year five carriers signed up for line maintenance and releasing services, and Himalayan Airlines became Ameco’s first third-party international client, bringing its line maintenance customer count to more than 80, their fleets including all in-service Boeing and Airbus models.
The company is also slated to commence RON (remain overnight) check service for an international carrier’s wide-body aircraft soon at Beijing Capital International Airport, as it also gears up for beginning Comac ARJ21 line maintenance service this year.
Ameco is demonstrating its business aviation support capabilities—the fourth pillar of its expansion plans—in dramatic fashion in Singapore this week, debuting its first full-scale cabin interior of a VIP completion: an ACJ319 cabin mock-up, the design combining culture and technology to create a high-quality, innovative smart cabin. This follows the success of Ameco’s ACJ320neo business jet cabin concept design, “Nature’s Touch,” created with Lufthansa Technik, which won last year’s Red Dot Award at the international design competition.
Its dedicated business jet completion and maintenance hangar can accommodate a wide-body aircraft or three narrow-body aircraft simultaneously, and it has two cabin interior manufacturing workshops for completions. Ameco has also introduced Ameconnect, a proprietary Ground-to-Air Wi-Fi connectivity system it can now offer business aircraft completions and refurbishment customers.
As for in-service support, Ameco has performed heavy maintenance on business jets including BBJs and ACJs, and offers “one-stop” technical solutions covering their life cycle service, from design or modification to on-site production and continuous operation.