Sanad unveils SAMENA region’s first certified CFM LEAP engine MRO

Sanad has inaugurated its LEAP Engine Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Center.

Image: Sanad

This marks a significant milestone as the first certified engine MRO Centre in the South Asian (India & Pakistan), Middle East, and North Africa (SAMENA) regions. This world-class Center, spanning over 5,000 sqm, 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.

The 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. 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.

In a special ceremony in Abu Dhabi, Sanad unveiled the center and showcased the first LEAP engine inducted in record time and marking the commencement of the LEAP engine MRO program. The MRO Center 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.

Mansoor Janahi, Managing Director and Group CEO of Sanad, said: “The inauguration of Sanad’s LEAP MRO Center marks a pivotal milestone for Abu Dhabi’s aviation sector as we strengthen our partnership with GE Aerospace and Safran Aircraft Engines. Sanad is proud to be the first in the SAMENA 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. 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. In addition, we are excited about the job opportunities this venture will create for our talented team in Sanad and more broadly Abu Dhabi. This initiative not only ensures the operational efficiency of these engines but also solidifies Abu Dhabi's status as a leading global aviation hub as we undertake the servicing of one of the highest-selling engines in the global commercial aviation industry.” 

John Slattery, chief commercial officer, GE Aerospace, commented: “Collaborating with Sanad on this venture has been a testament to the power of partnership and innovation in the aviation industry. Sanad's commitment to excellence and speed in establishing this state-of-the-art LEAP Engine MRO Center makes it an important part of the global LEAP open MRO network. We are proud to be part of this journey and look forward to many more years of successful collaboration.”

Nicolas Potier, Vice President Support and Services, Safran Aircraft Engines, declared: “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 Center. The remarkable speed at which they initiated operations and successfully enhanced the MRO capabilities on our first LEAP engine is a testament to their expertise and commitment. 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. Moreover, having an MRO center right here 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."

With an investment exceeding AED 100 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.

At the core of this transformation, is the LEAP Engine MRO Center, operated by a dedicated team of world-class technical and engineering experts, utilizing cutting-edge MRO technologies. Sanad’s expert engineers and technicians underwent an intensive series of workshops and training sessions with GE Aerospace. These comprehensive training programs have equipped, them with the skills required for tasks such as Rotor Drive System (RDS) and Inlet Gear Box (IGB) quick turnaround, borescope inspection, and general familiarisation. These initiatives underscore Sanad's commitment to maintaining the highest standards of service delivery for LEAP operators worldwide.