Aeroflot Group has MRO system in place, which ensures the highest levels of safety, aircraft dispatch reliability and punctuality of flight operations.
The Group’s MRO policy is aimed at continuous growth of capacities and technical capabilities, introduction of innovative solutions, staff training and economic efficiency. The Group has developed efficient and transparent quality management system, which ensures strict oversight of all MRO operations. The system has been developed and adjusted over years of operations, and has proven its efficiency through regular audits both with Russian and foreign aviation authorities.
These are the pillars of Aeroflot’s technical sovereignty and continuity of its operational and commercial activity under changing conditions.
This year Aeroflot Group made a strategic decision, that all maintenance needs of the entire fleet of the Group’s airline subsidiaries would be catered for by the Group’s dedicated maintenance division A-Technics. Since July, production facilities and human resources of Aeroflot’s technical department were transferred to A-Technics, including line stations, scheduled and unscheduled maintenance facilities, component MRO and storages. As a result of capacity consolidation, A-Technics has become Aeroflot’s center of competence for MRO. It is also the largest MRO service provider in Russia, CIS and Eastern Europe in terms of capacities (total hangar area exceeds 30,200 square m) and scope of operations (nine aircraft types).
A-Technics currently operates six hangar complexes, which can simultaneously handle up to 19 aircraft of different types. Concentrating all MRO procedures with one provider improves operational and economic efficiency.
Indeed, the holding business structure, whereby a large airline spins off its maintenance department into an independent company, which offers services to third party customers and generates revenue for its parent, is widely adopted in the world. For instance, Lufthansa and Air France – KLM in Europe; United Airlines in the US; AirAsia and Singapore Airlines in Asia. Outsourcing services to its own subsidiary allows airline to cut costs. In turn, the MRO company, with its capabilities to provide services to outside customers, ensures constant workload for engineers and technicians, and maintains its own quality management systems to the standards required by its certificate. It also has better options to expand its capability list.
In early December 2022 A-Technics celebrated 7 years in service. Since its foundation it has been demonstrating dynamic development and continuous growth of its performance indicators. Today it provides simultaneous technical support of over 300 aircraft.
In the autumn of 2022 three hangars (No 1-3) located in the vicinity of Northern terminal complex of Moscow Sheremetyevo airport were transferred from Aeroflot to A-Technics. With the total floor area of over 14,900 square meters they can house up to nine aircraft for simultaneous maintenance. A-Technics also operates hangars 4 and 5 in the Northern and Southern terminal complexes of Russia’s largest airport. The former, with the area of 7,210 square meters, specializes on heavy maintenance checks (including C-check) on wide-body aircraft and Superjet 100. It has space for three aircraft, including one wide-body. The latter provides a wide array of operations, including scheduled maintenance of Boeing 747, Boeing 777, Boeing 737, Airbus A350, Airbus A320 family and Superjet 100. The hangar area of 8,100 square meters offers space for one wide-body and four narrow-body aircraft.
The company’s sixth hangar is located at Orenburg airport. It specializes on scheduled maintenance of Boeing 737NG, including 6- and 12-year C-checks. The hangar has floor area of 3,844 square meters for simultaneous maintenance of two narrow-body aircraft.
FROM KALININGRAD TO VLADIVOSTOK
Within the framework of a global strategy to provide full-scale maintenance of aircraft fleet and expand the company’s presence across Russia, A-Technics almost doubled the number of its line maintenance stations this year – from seven to 13. In December the company lunched four new line stations – in Kazan, Perm, Ufa and Kaliningrad. The stations are outfitted with modern equipment and tooling and employ highly qualified technicians with B1/B2 categories and approvals for different types of maintenance procedures. The first three stations have successfully passed audits of Russian aviation authorities for the entire scope of line maintenance procedures on Boeing 737NG, Airbus A320 and Superjet 100; Kaliningrad stations is certified for Boeing 737NG and Airbus A320.
In mid-November A-Technics’ line maintenance stations became operational in Khabarovsk and Vladivostok. These provide maintenance to Boeing 777 and Airbus A330 aircraft.
The company is consistently working on expanding its capability lists for non-scheduled maintenance on additional aircraft types. Recently A-Technics expanded its FAP-285 certificates for two of its maintenance stations – in Krasnoyarsk and Vladivostok. Krasnoyarsk station has been approved for unscheduled maintenance on Rolls Royce Trent 700-powered Airbus A330. It will perform all procedures up to 3-Daily check. The station is now fully certified for four types of aircraft – Airbus A330, Airbus A320Family, Boeing 737NG and Superjet 100.
In turn, Vladivostok station’s certificate was expanded to add line maintenance of Boeing 737NG, including Daily check. The station is thus approved for servicing five types – Boeing 737NG, Boeing 777, Airbus A350, Airbus A330 and Airbus A320Family.
FROM MAINTENANCE TO PRODUCTION
A-Technics obtained its first FAP-285 certificate in 2018 for maintenance of Russian-built Superjet 100 regional jets.
In March 2022 the company won approval of Russia’s aviation regulator Rosaviatsiya to maintain Western-built aircraft with Russian registration. The approval was granted based on an extensive audit for expanding the organization’s FAP-285 certificate to include maintenance of Boeing and Airbus airliners.
The extended certificate means the company is approved to provide line and base maintenance of Western-built aircraft registered in Russia and ensure continued airworthiness of the entire fleet of Aeroflot Group’s subsidiary airlines – Aeroflot, Rossiya and Pobeda. As of today, A-Technics has competences and approvals for MRO on Boeing 737NG, Boeing 747-400, Boeing 747-400F, Boeing 777, Airbus A350, Airbus A330, Airbus A320neo, Airbus A320ceo and Superjet 100. It can also maintain and repair over 1,000 components.
The next step is to build competences in component production. In late September A-Technics successfully passed Rosaviatsiya audit for extending its certificate for aircraft component design and manufacturing (FAP-21 part J), which the company obtained in June 2022. Thus A-Technics is approved to design and authorize documentation for structural repairs of both Russian- and Western-built aircraft. The company also expanded its capability list for modifications of class II and III components it can design and certify, as well as development of documentation for repairs. This includes components of air conditions system, lighting equipment, windows, doors, braking devices, thrust reversers, fuselage skins, aerodynamic fairings etc.
Earlier, A-Technics had been approved for developing documentation for production and modifications of Level III components, such as parts of galleys, passenger cabin and flight deck, emergency equipment etc.
Thus, as of today, A-Technics can independently perform the full cycle from design to repairs and modifications. Under the Western sanctions the certificate allows the company to provide comprehensive technical support to partner airlines in terms of developing, authorizing and completing repairs not described by aircraft manufacturer.
To ensure further sustainable sovereignty in continued airworthiness of the active aircraft fleet in the situation of Western OEMs being unable to provide support to Russian operators, Aeroflot will proceed with building its own competences in developing design solutions for aircraft.
It intends to create national center of competences, which will support the wide range of customers in operating Western-built aircraft. Aeroflot’s board of directors has approved creation of department for developing design solutions and has taken steps towards its certification.
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