Inside MRO Contracts & Briefs For October 2023

Boeing 777-300ERSF

IAI completed its first test flight of a converted Boeing 777-300ERSF in March.

Credit: IAI


IAI Picks Ascent for 777 P2F Conversions

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has chosen its first North American site for passenger-to-freighter conversions on Boeing 777 aircraft. It has signed an agreement with Ascent Aviation Services that will see the U.S.-based MRO provider carry out Boeing 777-300ERSF conversion services from its site in Marana, Arizona.

Under the 15-year agreement, Ascent will operate two conversion lines for 777-300-ERSF aircraft starting in 2024. Scott Butler, chief commercial officer at Ascent, says the company plans to convert three aircraft annually per line.

To support the program, Ascent is building two new hangars for widebodies, the preconstruction for which already has commenced. It expects both hangars to be completed prior to first aircraft induction.

IAI completed its first test flight of a converted 777-300ERSF in March, and it is in the final stages of the certification process. It expects to receive supplemental type certificates from the FAA and the Civil Aviation Authority of Israel by the end of 2023.

ADE Expands Nacelle Capability

Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), the MRO arm of the Malaysia-based Capital A group, has signed an agreement with Collins Aerospace to grow the former’s capability in CFM56-5B nacelle services.

ADE will also be expanding its collaboration with GMF AeroAsia as part of a greater collaboration between Capital A and Garuda Indonesia.

Collins will be providing knowledge transfer and training for nacelle inspection, composite and mechanical repairs to ADE engineers, and will support AirAsia’s Airbus A320ceo aircraft life cycle until the type’s lease ends.

ADE CEO Mahesh Kumar told Aviation Week that training has commenced, and the company has an ambitious target of attaining the capability within 12 months. He noted there are plans to expand nacelle capabilities further to the A320neo and A330 engines.

Air India Plans A320neo Retrofits

Air India will begin retrofitting its legacy widebody and Airbus A320neo aircraft next year as part of its fleet transformation strategy.

The retrofit project will run from April 2024-27, according to Sisira Dash, Air India’s chief technical officer, speaking at Aviation Week’s MRO Asia in Singapore on Sept. 27. It will include the installation of new seats and updated inflight entertainment connectivity, along with newly added premium-economy cabins. The project also includes painting the aircraft with Air India’s new branding.

“By that time [2024], we expect the parts, seating and other required items to be available,” says Dash. “It’s not only the seats but the A/V system and the connectivity—everything has to come together.”

Dash did not disclose which partners or vendors the airline is working with.


AAI Morocco was selected to perform extensive maintenance on three ex-ExpressJet Embraer ERJ145s for delivery to a new European operator for entry into service in mid-2024.

Boeing won a five-year Philippine Airlines contract to provide its upgraded Airplane Health Management Select product for prognostics and diagnostics to help the airline maintain its 777-300ER fleet.

Cebu Pacific selected Lufthansa Technik for CFM56-5B MRO, Cyclean engine washing and aircraft transition services for Airbus A320-200s.

Embraer signed a Pool Program services agreement with Scoot for component exchange and repair for nine E190-E2s.

Japan Airlines selected ST Engineering to provide component maintenance-by-the-hour programs for Boeing 737-800s and Airbus A321P2Fs.

Joramco won a Philippine Airlines contract to perform maintenance and modifications on five more Boeing 777s.

Lufthansa Technik renewed its Philippine Airlines contract to provide CFM56 maintenance for another three years.

Magnetic Line signed a strategic partnership with Xiamen Airlines to provide line maintenance at Schiphol Amsterdam Airport.

PDQ Airspares secured a consignment agreement from GMF AeroAsia to provide consumables stock inventory.

Spirit Aerosystems was selected by VAECO to provide aftermarket engineering support.

ST Engineering won a five-year Lion Air Group contract to provide Leap 1B MRO.