Turbine Services and Solutions (TS&S) has established itself as a major MRO shop in the Middle East. Based in Abu Dhabi and a wholly-owned subsidiary of the Mubadala Investment Company, it is involved with the GE Aviation GEnx, IAE V2500, Pratt & Whitney Canada PT6 and Rolls-Royce Trent 700 engines.
Mansoor Janahi, acting chief executive officer, says TS&S started operations in 2013 (although it dates back 27 years to the engine shop of GAMCO, which later became ADAT). It has seen a threefold increase in business volume in the last four years and has serviced more than 300 engines for both local and international customers.
In 2017, it received more than 100 shop visits, a new record. This year, at the Farnborough Airshow, it announced V2500 contracts with Asiana, AtlasGlobal and Yemen Airways. A few months earlier, it signed with leasing company Dubai Aerospace Enterprises, to support V2500, Trent 700 and GEnx engines.
It is now looking to expand into new markets and, in July 2018, signed an MoU with Ethiopian Airlines. This will give it access to the developing African aviation market in collaboration with the most technically advanced carrier on the continent.
One project is to develop APU capabilities, establishing centres of excellence offering spares pool management, and exploiting predictive MRO maintenance and associated connectivity. It will also seek to establish engine on-wing care centres.
Finally, with another wholly-owned Mubadala subsidiary, it will explore financing and leasing opportunities for spare engines and rotatable components in support of Ethiopian’s existing and future fleet requirements.
He adds that Asia is also of interest, with Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) approval for V2500 having just been received, adding to Nepal, China, Sri Lanka, Thailand and Vietnam. The Americas are another target, with approvals from Brazil, Chile and Argentina. Of course, TS&S also has EASA, FAA and GCAA approvals.
The company divides its MRO activities between engines and modules overhaul, parts repair, Quick Turn operations and operational support. It offers services in all four sectors for V2500, PT6 and Trent 700 engines. There is no repair capability for GEnx at present, while operational support is provided for the GE90.
The closest relationship is probably with IAE, as the company was a V2500 Overhaul Base at the very start in 2013 and is an approved subcontractor for the OEM and its customers.
It has developed an extensive capability in-house for repairs, as well as having comprehensive agreements with OEM-approved suppliers for outside repairs, in particular with MTU Maintenance, with which it signed a long term agreement in February 2017. It also has a range of parts offerings, including consignment stock.
A V2500 for Etihad Airways became the 100th engine to go through the facility, which was achieved in October 2016. The 15,000m² TS&S facility is close to Etihad Airways Engineering, but work for Etihad Airways actually comes in the form of an offload from the various OEMs.
Some 65 per cent of the throughput is for OEMs, the balance coming from independently won third party work.
There is also a strong relationship with Rolls-Royce, with TS&S becoming the first company outside the OEM’s MRO network to overhaul a Trent 700, which powers the Airbus A330, for Sri Lankan Airlines, in late 2016.
There are plans to add the Trent XWB, which will require a new test cell – current test can handle engines up to 150,000lb thrust. With GE Aviation, there are plans to expand the GEnx from Quick Turn to full overhaul, and there is future interest in the GE9x for the Boeing 777X.
The PT6 has been another long term project, covering the PT6A turboprop and the PT6T turboshaft, overhaul and repair of the reduction gearbox for the latter being a speciality.
Janahi says there has been an investment in technology, including the Honeywell Vocollect voice recognition system and Atlas Copco Smart Connect Assembly technology that can guide technicians through the assembly and disassembly of engines, increasing efficiency and preventing errors.
RFID tracking and blockchain are currently being evaluated. There is clearly a need to grow beyond the present 350 employees. These come from 31 countries but there is a move towards Emiratisation, part of the UAE Vision 2030 development programme.
To this end, TS&S has launched the ‘I’m A Proud Technician’ programme, offering technical high school graduates a two year course, with EASA Part 145 approval after the first year. Running since 2015, it is producing 10 trainees annually.