Abu Dhabi’s Sanad launches region’s first certified engine MRO centre

This announcement follows a landmark 11-year shop visit offload agreement, signed during the Paris Air Show in June 2023

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Ashwani Kumar

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Published: Fri 10 Nov 2023, 4:35 PM

The first certified engine MRO centre in South Asia, the Middle East, and North Africa regions has been launched in Abu Dhabi.

Sanad – the global aerospace engineering and leasing solutions leader wholly owned by Abu Dhabi’s sovereign investor Mubadala Investment Company (Mubadala) — has announced the inauguration of its Leap Engine Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Centre.

This world-class centre, spanning over 5,000sqm, will offer advanced technical capabilities within Sanad’s new state-of-the-art facility in Abu Dhabi, becoming part of the global Leap MRO network.

This announcement follows a landmark 11-year shop visit offload agreement, signed during the Paris Air Show in June 2023, in partnership with GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines – both leading providers of jet engines, components, and aircraft systems.

“The inauguration of Sanad’s Leap MRO centre marks a pivotal milestone for Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector as we strengthen our partnership with GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines,” said Mansoor Janahi, managing director and group CEO of Sanad.

Through the agreement, Sanad significantly expanded its MRO services to include new-generation CFM International Leap-1A and -1B engines that power Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX family aircraft. These engines have gained global recognition for their exceptional reliability and fuel efficiency.

“Sanad is proud to be the first in the region to support the Leap engine, recognised for its exceptional performance and fuel efficiency. With an outstanding worldwide backlog of more than 10,000 engines, it has established itself as an industry-leading engine platform.”

In a ceremony in Abu Dhabi, Sanad unveiled the centre and showcased the first Leap engine inducted in record time and marking the commencement of the Leap engine MRO programme.

The centre began operations within a month of signing the agreement and successfully completed the MRO process on the first Leap engine from flydubai just four months after signing the agreement. The centre is poised to receive over 450 Leap engines for MRO services.

“The development of such capabilities in the UAE provides operators in the region with high levels of sustainment, reducing the carbon footprint associated with the transportation of engines outside our region. We are excited about the job opportunities this venture will create for our talented team in Sanad and more broadly Abu Dhabi,” Janahi said.

With an investment exceeding Dh100 million, Sanad has made significant enhancements to its Abu Dhabi facility. These improvements focus on advanced machinery, infrastructure, and technology, all designed to strengthen the company's engine MRO capabilities.

John Slattery, chief commercial officer, GE Aerospace, said: “Sanad's commitment to excellence and speed in establishing this state-of-the-art Leap Engine MRO Centre makes it an important part of the global Leap open MRO network.”

Nicolas Potier, vice-president of support and services at Safran Aircraft Engines, said: “Sanad’s new state-of-the-art capabilities will expand our global CFM network to address the Leap MRO ramp-up and keep offering our airline customers with the best standards in terms of support and innovation.”

Mick Hills, chief operating officer at flydubai, added: “flydubai is pleased to be among the first airlines to benefit from Sanad's Leap Engine MRO Centre. We are confident that this partnership with CFM and Sanad will ensure the reliability and efficiency of our Leap engines, contributing to further cost and operational efficiency of our growing fleet. Having an MRO centre in the UAE is a significant step towards making our operations more sustainable. It provides us with in-country solutions, reducing the need to send engines overseas for maintenance, which aligns with our commitment to operational efficiency.”

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