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Teardown activities in support of MRO operations

In line with its policy of developing alternatives to purchase of expensive parts from third parties, AFI KLM E&M has set up a structure dedicated to purchasing and disassembling aircraft at the end of their useful lives. After many projects of A320 dismantling, it also recently purchased a Boeing 777-200ER. The aim is to supply Group facilities with spare parts and engines intermediary-free, and to support its maintenance operations for the benefit of its customer airlines.

For an MRO, sourcing and access to "spare" assets (components, engines) at competitive pricing is key when it comes to providing optimal support for customer airlines. The first benefit is to improve availability of spares and consequently the Service Level delivered to AFI KLM E&M customers. The second benefit relies on decreasing the cost of operations for client airlines: the options, if a component becomes BER (Beyond Economical Repair) are limited. In this latter case the transaction can prove costly, especially for the purchase of a new part, but also if one goes looking on the secondary market.

A structured network to leverage the value of a removed asset

Given this problem, AFI KLM E&M is exploring another alternative, namely aircraft teardown to supply its business units directly with overhauled, re-certified and serviceable assets. In 2016, with this in view, the Group set up a subsidiary: ‘AFI KLM E&M Teardown Management'.

“The structure was set up to achieve the agility and fast-track responsiveness required for this type of operations, especially during the critical purchase phase. The teardown business also capitalizes on the breadth of subsidiaries in the Group's global network. Through our position as an MRO, we have extensive visibility on investment opportunities. Once the aircraft has been purchased and disassembled, the recovered parts can be inspected and overhauled, if necessary, by our teams of technicians. They are then made available to our repair shops all over the world or passed on into the secondary market via our AAF Spares brokering subsidiary. Teardown operations as such can be handled by KLM UK Engineering, which has a single-aisle aircraft capability, or else by Bonus Tech for the engines.”

Edith Collard

Finance & Legal Director Business Development at AFI KLM E&M


Targeted, proven operations

AFI KLM E&M Teardown Management began operations with Air France's last remaining 747-400 in 2016 - a trial run used to bed in the logistics processes in connection with this type of operation, then shortly followed by A320 projects. Each investment is stringently targeted and matches up to the needs of Maintenance. Recently, the entity organized teardown for a 777-200ER purchase.

“Due to the under-representation of the 777-200ER in the global 777 fleet, relative to the 777-300ER in particular, access to spare parts and their availability on this specific aircraft type may become critical, especially as regards their GE90-94 engines. he aircraft was mainly sourced for the sake of its engines, whose technical condition we are aware of, as well as their remaining on-wing potential, as we maintained them in our engine shops. We worked with the customer to gather the technical documentation and guarantee complete traceability for the aircraft's parts and engines before giving the purchase the go-ahead. The aircraft was delivered in February 2019. During the teardown, 700 parts to recover has been drawn up. The parts will be shipped to our own workshops to be re-certified before being re-used or sold on. The GE90-94 engines were removed in a preliminary phase and delivered to our facilities for inspection and return to conformity - one is already being operated on an aircraft of the parent airline.”

Vincent Benoit

Director, Component Asset Management AFI KLM E&M.

These operations show how beneficial they are in support of maintenance operations implemented in the AFI KLM E&M network. For the end-customer they mean more competitive solutions, optimized in terms of costs and availability of spares - an undoubted operational benefit.