2021 for S7 Technics, one of the leading aircraft MRO providers in Russia, has been the year of innovation and adding new operations to its list of capabilities. The gradual resumption of flight hours by Russian airlines is reflected in an increase in MRO volumes. And if line maintenance, including A-checks, the number of which is directly linked to the utilization rate of the fleet, has not yet reached pre-crisis 2019 levels, on the maintenance segment in base (C-checks) S7 Technics managed to significantly, by almost 25%, outperform the year before the crisis – 106 checks compared to 85 in 2019.
Engine repair operations are gaining ground. In 2021, two engine workshops – in Domodedovo (Moscow) and Mineralnye Vody – completed work on 60 engines, including the restoration of 12 engines. Other contracts included on- and off-wing service bulletins, engine preservation, and borescope inspections. This compares to 37 engine MROs in 2019, including 10 restorations.
The amount of work measured in working hours already in the 11 months of this year exceeded the whole of 2019 – 2.125 million hours to 1.971 hours, respectively. Thus, at the end of the year, the amount of work performed by S7 Technics personnel exceeded 2019 levels by 12.5%.
“We streamlined the types of operations, which were successful in 2020,” says Nikita Belykh, Deputy General Manager of Marketing and Sales at S7 Technics. “For example, riding the wave of high demand for aircraft delivery checks, we have launched a new offer – a full support service for aircraft return and acceptance procedures – within our ‘engineering.”
In 2021, the company continued to build new skills. Among them, obtaining an approval for the maintenance of the Airbus A320neo powered by LEAP-1A engines at Moscow Domodedovo airport, which will be extended to the Novosibirsk base this year. The company’s list of capabilities has grown. For example, S7 Technics’ Domodedovo Base Cabin Interior Repair Shop has a new facility, specializing in the repair of thermal insulation mats for Embraer aircraft. The opening of this new facility allows Russian operators to repair these components in Russia, which previously had to be purchased and imported from abroad, thereby reducing maintenance costs. Next year, the provider will add the same services for Airbus aircraft.
In addition, the base of S7 Technics in Mineralnye Vody introduced Russia’s first automated installation for the manufacture of composite panels for cabin floors and overhead compartments for Airbus A320 family aircraft. This new installation enables the company to reduce its costs and lead times. According to company estimates, during the C-check, between 30% and 80% of all floor panels are replaced. In redistribution checks, this number increases to 60% or even 90%.
Another important achievement is the launch of the production of polyurethane foam cushions for aircraft seats. Part of the S7 Technics base in Mineralnye Vody, this dedicated facility can produce cushion kits for up to 40 aircraft annually, including seats for business and economy class, as well as pilot seats. In combination with the production of seat covers and other seat components, this new addition has become a logical extension of the company’s skills.
“Now that we have this ability to produce seat cushions and covers in-house, as well as luggage and floor panels for aircraft cabins, we are able to keep aircraft interiors in pristine condition. operation throughout the operation of the aircraft, as well as to restore it to new condition, which is necessary for the return of an aircraft to the next lessor or operator,” comments Nikita Belykh. company has already won several aircraft cabin renovation contracts.
Based on the moderately positive forecast of a progressive air transport market, S7 Technics expects to implement its strategic development plans in 2022. One of the highest priority projects is the launch of a production plant at the Sheremetyevo airport for the overhaul of CFM56-5B and -7B engines, the most popular engine types in service with Russian airlines, as well as Honeywell 131-9A/9B APUs.
The new S7 Technics workshop offers operators the opportunity to overhaul their engines in Russia instead of shipping them overseas, reducing both maintenance costs and aircraft downtime.
Work to expand the production facilities at the Novosibirsk maintenance base continues, including the construction of a new hangar. The next city to host the S7 Technics maintenance center, the fourth after Moscow, Novosibirsk and Mineralnye Vody, is Saint Petersburg. An investment agreement for his foundation was signed at the St. Petersburg Economic Forum in 2021.
In 2022, S7 Technics intends to further expand its customer base, both in Russia and beyond. This year, significant work has been done to attract new customers in the Middle East and Asia. “It is important for us to expand our customer portfolio and bring in foreign companies, to expose ourselves to new experiences and to establish a reputation as a supplier that is active in the international market and meets the standards of class airlines. world”, concludes Nikita Belykh.