Piedmont Propulsion Systems, LLC (“PPS”), a wholly owned subsidiary of First Aviation Services Inc. announced today the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with Malaysian Airlines Berhard (MAB). The Memorandum was signed by Malaysia Airlines’ Group Chief Operations Officer Ahmad Luqman Ahmad Azmi and PPS’s Technical Director Paul Bolton and serves as the first step in a technological joint venture that allows both companies to work together in providing aircraft propeller maintenance, repair and overhaul services (MRO) in both Malaysia and the USA. MAB will be responsible for providing the physical as well as human resources to facilitate repair operations in Kuala Lumpur International Airport (“KLIA”). This will allow the airline to support sister companies Firefly and MASwings on the maintenance of their ATR aircraft, while also servicing fellow airlines in the region operating said aircraft in terms of MRO services.
PPS has previously worked with industry players such as the Air Canada Jazz, WestJet, Lion Air Group, FedEx Express, Lufthansa Technik, Bombardier Aerospace and the United States Department of Defense, among others in various MRO capacities. With decades of experience and proven propeller MRO performance, coupled with new, proprietary FAA-certified replacement parts and repairs to reduce operating costs and extend time-on-wing, PPS provides an unassailable pedigree and offers unmatched benefits to its partners and customers.
PPS will provide technical and training support for propeller maintenance requirements, inclusive of re-certification, line maintenance and annual refresher trainings to MAB Engineering staff in order to ensure a high standard of quality for the MRO services provided at KLIA. Additionally, PPS will provide major inspections and repairs where required, as well as supporting the development of alternate repairs and replacement parts. In the long term, PPS will facilitate a knowledge and technology transfer to develop MAB propeller hub and actuator capabilities.
Both parties will also have a role in marketing and promoting the partnership as a technological joint venture to IATA 3 operators, which covers the Asia Pacific region. The joint services offered are expected to generate a sum of RM10million in the span of 3 years.
According to Malaysia Airlines Group Chief Operations Officer Ahmad Luqman Mohd Azmi, “Malaysia Airlines Berhad is steadfast in our dedication to providing top notch service to all our customers, and ensuring our aircraft are always in safe condition is one of our utmost priorities. Despite the reduced flying Malaysia Airlines has on day-to-day basis as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, it is arguably more important now than ever than our aircraft undergo proper and thorough maintenance as they sit in Long-Term-Parking. I foresee in the long-term partnering with PPS will aid us in achieving these goals, and following the industry recovery, this Memorandum with PPS will allow us to be a one-stop shop in the region for turboprop operators looking for reliable, high quality and fast service. Additionally, working with PPS will help us build our own internal competencies, with an eye to developing our own propeller hub as well actuator capabilities in the future.”
PPS Technical Director echoed the MAB COO’s words “This venture provides the first truly world class propeller maintenance support in region for the growing ATR market, and we are excited to continue our initial work with MAB to support the regional operators as they return to the skies over the coming months and years”.