PARIS 2009: WestJet signs $850m engine MRO deal with GE and StandardAero
WestJet has signed a 12-year OnPoint agreement, valued at more than $850 million, with GE Aviation for the maintenance, repair and overhaul of its fleet of CFM56-7 engines that power 79 Boeing 737NGs.
As part of the agreement, MRO of WestJet's engines will be performed at the StandardAero plant in Winnipeg. The facility has just undergone a major expansion, adding 80,000 sq ft. The new deal triggers further expansion of 25,000 sq ft, for which ground will be broken in the next 30 days, which will result in a 165,000 sq ft plant.
GE Aviation and StandardAero have completed a material and licensing agreement in connection with the WestJet contract. As part of the agreement, GE Aviation will provide material and high-technology component repairs to StandardAero. This material is produced at various GE facilities, including Bromont, Canada; Hooksett, New Hampshire; and Madisonville, Kentucky. StandardAero will become a GE Designated FulFillment Center for CFM56-7B engines.
The deal is StandardAero's CFM56 product launch. The extra space at Winnipeg will take the site's capability from 300 to 350 engines per year. The current test cell, outfitted for CF34-3 and CF34-8 engines, will be adapted to enable CFM56 testing and a second test cell will be built which will also have be kitted to test all three engine types, reported Ian Smart, senior vice-president, airlines and fleets at StandardAero.
The test cells are also capable of testing CF34-10s. "We're working out the business case for those engines before getting the tooling," Smart explained. "It's certainly a possibility as some of our customers operate both the -8 and the -10."
Bernie Baldwin, editor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/LARAnews.net