The new Indian airline has signed two contracts with AFI KLM E&M through its wholly owned subsidiary EPCOR, for both component and APU services in order to support their ongoing operation development.
The new Indian air transport start-up, Akasa Air, has enlisted the support of AFI KLM E&M for component services as well as dedicated APU solutions from its subsidiary EPCOR. The Group MRO will supply the airline with an adaptive package of flight-hour solutions including repair services, access to a spare parts pool, provision of a Main Base Kit (MBK) and dedicated logistical support. The agreement covers an extensive range of components, including the Line Replaceable Units (LRU) for the engines as well as the APUs fitted on Akasa Air’s fleet of Boeing 737 MAX 8s. On the APU side, the services delivered by EPCOR, AFI KLM E&M’s center of excellence for APU maintenance, will cover the repair and maintenance of GTCP131-9B APUs (fitted on the 737 MAX), the provision of replacement units, Health Monitoring/Fleet Management assistance using the PROGNOS® for APU platform, and engineering-as-a-service.
Meeting the exact needs of Akasa Air
The AFI KLM E&M Group teams worked closely alongside Akasa Air in the lead-up to the operational launch phase (with the maiden commercial flight taking place on 7th of August 2022), listening to the needs and challenges faced by the young airline and adapting their commercial service packages to fit these requirements. AFI KLM E&M has capitalized upon its expertise in the 737 product and its Airline-MRO profile, pro-actively suggesting ways to reduce costs and develop a competitive, adapted offering aimed at optimizing the Total Cost of Ownership (TCO) and achieving a high level of operational reliability.
Moreover, EPCOR has amassed extensive experience and expertise on the Honeywell GTCP131-9B APU, with over 470 shop visits for 59 customers around the world under its belt.
Ton Dortmans, EVP KLM Engineering & Maintenance, stated: “we’re proud of the trust placed in us by Akasa Air, a young and dynamic airline from the Indian sub-continent. We’re fully committed to supporting their ambitions and development by providing the best available solutions in component support, drawing upon our extensive expertise with the 737/737 MAX product.”
Rob van de Graaf, Commercial Director of EPCOR, added: “the breakthrough by EPCOR in the Indian area means that the market needs alternative solutions based on an airline-MRO mindset. It showcases our APU know-how in a general sense and our expertise in the GTCP131-9B more specifically. Our services are designed to keep the airline’s APUs in the sky for as long as possible, combining our expertise and flexibility in adapting our solutions to align perfectly with their operational needs. It opens the door to a long-term partnership around the APUs of its young and growing 737 fleet.”
Commenting on the occasion, Neelu Khatri, Co-Founder and SVP – Head of Operations at Akasa Air said, “The Indian aviation industry bears immense potential having exponentially grown to become the third largest domestic aviation market in the world. We are delighted to enable AFI KLM E&M’s group to further expand its leading position into the Indian market through this partnership.
We are India’s newest airline, with the greenest and youngest fleet in the country. Reliable operations and fuel efficiency are the cornerstones of our operations strategy, that will allow Akasa Air to provide a dependable service offering in India, today and for many years to come”, she added.
Daniel Saldanha, Vice President, Maintenance & Engineering at Akasa Air, added: “being able to rely upon the experience of a globally renowned MRO such as AFI KLM E&M network is a mark of confidence for our airline. Given its know-how, its international network, the experience of its teams and its high standards of service quality, AFI KLM E&M is undoubtedly the apt partner of choice for Akasa Air in the field of MRO, providing comprehensive support for our continued growth.”