Safran and China Eastern Airlines create landing gear MRO joint venture

November 1, 2016 Photo(s): By Safran

China Eastern Airlines and Safran Landing Systems have combined their respective areas of expertise to create a world-class center of excellence in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of landing gear on Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 commercial airplanes. The new company, Xi’an Eastern Safran Landing Systems Services, Ltd., will be based in Xi’an, already the main maintenance hub for China Eastern’s fleet, in an area that offers an outstanding pool of talent. It will primarily provide services for the Chinese domestic market.

China is one of the world’s leading aviation markets. Its fleets of single-aisle commercial jets are reaching maturity, which means that they will require general overhauls of their landing gear.

"We are delighted to launch this project with China Eastern Airlines, a long-standing partner," said Vincent Mascré, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Landing Systems. "The plant we will be opening together will be one of the largest landing gear maintenance facilities in the country, and will feature state-of-the-art technologies developed by Safran Landing Systems. It will also enable us to move closer to our Chinese customers, and further enhance our local services. The new facility will enjoy the support of all technical teams at Safran Landing Systems, making it a showcase for our customer support capabilities in China. Our partnership here reflects our strategy of continuing to expand our global MRO network."

Feng Liang, Vice-President of China Eastern Airlines, said: "China Eastern and Safran bring to the table proven strengths in their respective areas of expertise. Our two companies have teamed up for many years in a mutually beneficial partnership. This new joint venture is a key milestone for both companies and marks the beginning of a new step forward in our collaboration. It also reflects the importance for China Eastern of promoting the integration of our company’s supply chain."

The construction of the company’s new plant, spanning some 10,000 square meters (108,000 sq ft), will start in the first half of 2017, with operations expected to start in 2018.