TATV Insight: SAEI building MRO to take on the world

Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries, SAEI – the maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) business arm of Saudi Arabian Airlines – is embarking on a massive growth plan to meet the demands of the expansion its parent and that of its government which has opened its borders to encourage tourism and business activities.

As part of the Vision 2030 strategy, a huge MRO Village complete with its own Jet Propulsion Centre (JPC) is emerging from the desert as part of the King Abdulaziz International Airport (KAIA) in Jeddah.

The JPC is home to a gigantic test cell, rated to test engines up to 150,000 lbs of thrust – 20% greater than anything on the market today.

Built to service the G90 engines as well as the CFM 56, the JPC is preparing to attract close to 300 engines a year, plus up to 500 APUs.

In the surrounding MRO Village, 11 hangars – some big enough to service four widebody aircraft at the same time – are taking shape. Others can take four narrow bodies or two A380s for line maintenance. With its own aircraft washing centre and a paint shop SAEI is planning to grow third-party work as well meeting the needs of Saudia and Flyadeal.

Presenter Alan Peaford takes a tour around the site and meets key executives involved in the transformation.

Alan Peaford

Alan Peaford MBE

Alan is a regular broadcaster and is the consultant editor-in-chief and presenter for Times Aerospace TV and is a regular commentator on aviation issues for many global broadcasting channels. He is conference chairman of the Aviation Africa summit and the Aviation MENA summit and has moderated or chaired conferences for organisations such as IATA, DCAA, the Global Aerospace Summit and business aviation associations in the Middle East, Africa and Europe.