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On-Wing Services: getting planes back in the sky, but faster

On-Wing Services

Getting planes back in the sky, but faster

AFI KLM E&M’s recent operation for its customer Nouvelair illustrates the various benefits of On-Wing services, in terms of optimising engine life cycles while avoiding (wherever possible) the shop visits that cost airlines time and resources.


In April this year, the crew on an aircraft operated by Tunisian airline Nouvelair observed a defect on part CFM56-5B: the High Pressure Turbine Nozzle Guide Vane (HPT NGV). This sensitive part had deteriorated over the course of many flights over hot, sandy terrain – a fairly common scenario for operators in the Middle East and Africa region.

“The part was burnt out. The aircraft could still fly, but its number of engine cycles was limited. The challenge, therefore, was to find a solution that would enable the client to get the issue sorted before the aircraft hit the maximum number of cycles authorised by the manufacturer, leaving it grounded. We offered to repair the defective part at their Monastir facility: an on-site operation that prevented the entire engine having to be sent in for a shop visit.”

Rémi Maggio

CFM56 Technical Sales manager at AFI KLM E&M

Careful preparation

Four mechanics from AFI KLM E&M’s On-Wing Support service were quickly dispatched to the site. Working on an autonomous and flexible basis, they were able to act quickly and select the parts and tools necessary to conclude the operation successfully.

“Prior preparation and the various logistics associated are key to the success of this type of repair. The more prepared we are the better, since certain defects will not be visible until we can inspect the engine. Thanks to the experience of our engineering consulting department, we have the capability to repair all known issues and avoid any nasty surprises when we arrive on site.”

Rémi Maggio

CFM56 Technical Sales manager at AFI KLM E&M

The On-Wing team was thus able to complete the repair in just a 12 days Touch Time, compared to 60 days TAT for scheduled maintenance requiring an engine shop visit.

Saving time and money

The primary advantage of on-wing operations is unquestionably the time and money saved. Indeed, depending on where the aircraft is stationed in the world, the time and expense involved in transporting an engine to a workshop can be significant. On-wing operations are not only faster but allow the customer to avoid any excess expenditure, as Rémi Maggio explains:

“When an engine arrives in the workshop, we process it according to the Engine Shop Manual, which stipulates inspection criteria for all parts on the engine. In the case of on-wing operations, the Aircraft Maintenance Manual takes precedence: this is a more flexible process that does not target minor defects, leaving our mechanics to use their expertise to identify which issues can be repaired later. Our objective is to help the operator get back into the air as quickly as possible, in strict accordance with flight safety protocols, all while optimizing the on-wing lifespan of the engine – a mission completed with 100% success at Nouvelair!”

Rémi Maggio

CFM56 Technical Sales manager at AFI KLM E&M

Over 60 customers have already given their trust to AFI KLM E&M to perform more than 250 interventions per year. Thanks to its experience, AFI KLM E&M is proposing designed On-Wing Support to all customers in order to keep the engines flying.