On July 20, 2017, before the first meeting of the Board of Directors of the new joint venture XIESA, Vincent Mascré, Chief Executive Officer of Safran Landing Systems, and LIU Shaoyong, Chairman of China Eastern Group, jointly laid the cornerstone for a new center of excellence dedicated to landing gear maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO).
Located in the airport zone of the city of Xi’an, the new MRO center will be operated by XIESA (Xi’an CEA Safran Landing Systems Services CO Ltd), the joint venture created on November 1, 2016 by China Eastern Airlines, one of China’s three major state-owned backbone of the air transport group, and Safran, the French aerospace and defense giant.
Xi’an is already home to a maintenance hub, under development, for the China Eastern Airlines fleet. It gives both partners an ideal location for their new landing gear MRO plant, at the departure point for the historic “Silk Road”, as well as the new rail network intended to link China and Europe. The capital of Shaanxi province, Xi’an offers a large pool of top-flight skills for XIESA, which aims to provide outstanding local services. The company’s priority will be the Chinese domestic market, in a country that is now one of the world’s leading aviation markets, with fleets of single-aisle jets arriving at maturity, and therefore requiring landing gear overhauls.
“Today marks the symbolic milestone of laying the cornerstone for this facility, a result of our long- standing relationship with China Eastern Airlines,” said Vincent Mascré, CEO of Safran Landing Systems. “Last year this relationship culminated in the creation of a joint venture, and we are now starting the construction of a facility that will showcase our expertise and the wide range of services offered to our customers. We are also very proud to be building this plant in the symbolic city of Xi’an. At the same time, I am very honored to be laying this cornerstone in a ceremony attended by LOU Qinjian, Secretary of CPC Shaanxi Provincial Committee, He Jian, Party Committee Secretary, Director Airport New City Administrative Committee Shaanxi Xi’an New Area, and other related officials, who have provided seamless support in this endeavor.”
The XIESA MRO plant at a glance:
- Surface area 11,000 square meters, including 8,700 of workshops.
- Construction starts in July 2017, operational in January 2019.
- 350 MRO employees for the Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 airplanes in the China Eastern Airlines fleet and all Chinese customers.