In early 2007, Air China and CFM International agreed to establish an innovative maintenance repair, and overhaul (MRO) joint venture. In 2010, after three years negotiations, the two companies cleared the final hurdle and have received Chinese government approval for the formation of Sichuan Services Aero Engines Maintenance Company (SSAMC), a 60/40 joint venture between Air China and CFM, located in Chengdu, China.
SSAMC will combine Air China's extensive expertise with that of CFM to create a truly world-class maintenance facility. The facility, which previously operated as a Snecma Services overhaul shop, completes 60 to 80 engine overhauls annually. The new joint venture will expand Air China's engineering services, which already provides aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul services.
"Air China's objective is to have the most competitive MRO solutions for its fleet, without any compromise in flight safety," said Senior VP He of Air China. "The partnership with CFM can help both stakeholders to continuously increase their competitiveness globally with their advantages, and to provide the best service for Chinese and worldwide customers."
"This new venture is a perfect example of the type of win-win solutions that airlines and OEMs can implement together," said Eric Bachelet, President and CEO of CFM International.
"The combination of Air China's extensive expertise with that of CFM will enable SSAMC to develop and grow to the best level of performance, in terms of quality, turnaround time, EGT margin, and cost."
Air China is the Chinese national flag carrier and has been a long-time CFM customer. In the last several years, the airline has grown and expanded its reach to become one of the leading airlines in the country. In addition to the 20 A320 orders formalized at the Zhuhai Air Show, the airline's current fleet includes 55 Airbus A320 and 118 Boeing 737 family aircraft powered by CFM56-5B and CFM56-3/-7B engines, respectively, as well as six long-range, four-engine Airbus A340-300 aircraft powered by the CFM56-5C.
CFM International, a 50/50 joint company between Snecma (Safran group) and General Electric, is today one of the most successful aircraft engine suppliers in history and has delivered more than 21,500 CFM56 engines.