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Delivering power

Aero Norway is pushing ahead with a forward-looking business growth strategy for CFM56 engine maintenance. Keith Mwanalushi speaks to CEO Glenford Marston from the facility in Stavanger

Last year, Norwegian-based engine MRO facility Aero Norway celebrated 25 years of supporting CFM56-3, CFM56-5B and CFM56-7B engines. The facility, located close to Stavanger Airport, has seen many changes through its history. In 1991, it was opened as a Braathens facility until the year 2000, when it was acquired by Pratt & Whitney (P&W) and then Aero Gulf. Subsequently, Aero Norway took over the operation in 2013 where it now operates a state-of-the-art facility designed specifically for CFM56 engines.

Current Chief Executive Officer Glenford Marston was part of the transition team from P&W when a Qatari businessman Tariq Al Jehani bought the business and took over the company. “We have done quite a lot of good things in the time and we have grown very quickly,” Marston declares.

The first strategic decision was a vigorous rebranding exercise that would bring Norwegian back in the name. “It was called Aero Gulf and as such it confused a lot of people because the history of the shop always had Norway in it. We wanted to get that Norway back in. We have now achieved that with the current brand. It’s very simplistic, but very clean,” says Marston.

He is justifiably proud of the facility’s achievements with the CFM56. Clearly, the global operator base is extensive – the CFM56-5B is the engine choice of the ubiquitous A320 family and the CFM56-7B, is exclusively powering the Boeing 737 NG family. The CFM56-3 is deployed on the 737 Classics.

Marston believes working exclusively on the CFM56 is the key to the success of the business because the services model that CFM has staked its reputation on for decades is underpinned by independent engine MROs and usage of the CFM56 series shows no signs of waning.

“You have good volumes of engines to get your teeth into and although it’s competitive, we are not scared of competition when it comes to quality and pricing.”

Marston sees a steady flow of engines from the -3, -5 and the -7 variants, and as CFM pushes out new models and engines, Aero Norway has sights fully set on servicing the new LEAP engine – “That will be a natural progression for us.”

When looking at the market forces today, Marston feels the outlook for the CFM56 is solid, and he says the business is working to ensure it can sustain its flexibility.

In fact, aviation consultancy firm IBA has identified a total of 1,300 lease returns and extensions which are to take place in 2018. The A320ceo and 737-800 aircraft are expected to account for most lease ends in 2018. A320-200 lease end dates are expected to exceed those of the 737-800 in both 2018 and 2019.

IBA is projecting a concentration of lease ends between the years 2019-22, with a peak towards 2022. This will mean a busy cycle ahead for operators and lessors and subsequently MROs. >>


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