Rolls-Royce and Air China have announced they are entering into a new 50/50 Joint Venture (JV) maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Beijing, China. The new facility, BAESL (Beijing Aero Engine Services Company Limited), will provide MRO support on the Rolls-Royce Trent 700, Trent XWB-84 and Trent 1000 aero engines. Air China currently has all three engine types in its fleet.
At full capacity, which is expected to be achieved in the mid 2030s, BAESL will be able to support up to 250 shop visits per year. The facility will offer MRO services to Air China as well as our other airline customers based in Greater China and beyond. Today, Rolls-Royce powers 60% of China’s widebody fleet, powering more than 550 aircraft in service or on order. Our Trent 700 engines also power 90% of the country’s Airbus A330 fleet and the Greater China fleet represents 20% of all Trent engines flying today.
This JV is an important part of Rolls-Royce’s strategy for China, in terms of deepening our relationship with Air China, giving customers the best level of service, improving the cost-competitiveness of our business and generating incremental MRO capacity as shop visits grow. It aligns in-region growth with in-region capacity providing customer proximity, which supports our sustainability goals by reducing overseas transportation of engines for MRO activity. The new facility will also support the continued expansion of our capable, competitive and flexible global Care Network. It is part of our strategy to expand our MRO network in a cost-effective way in order to support our growing fleet, as outlined at our Investor Day in May.
Chris Cholerton, President – Civil Aerospace, Rolls-Royce, said: “The announcement of this JV is an important milestone for Rolls-Royce in China, where we have been powering the nation’s airlines for more than 50 years. Air China is a strategic partner for us, having successfully grown together over many years, and I am delighted to now expand our relationship with this exciting partnership in MRO and look forward to continued growth of our collaboration.”
Mr. Ma Chongxian, President of Air China, said: “With safe operation as top priority, Air China has long been committed to developing aircraft maintenance capabilities and ensuring the reliability of the fleet, meanwhile striving to promote the industrialisation of aircraft maintenance. In the future, Air China and Rolls-Royce will continue to deepen our profound partnership and start a new journey of cooperation in the field of high thrust engine maintenance. We look forward to building the Joint Venture into a world-class aero engine MRO company and increasing the volume of China’s civil aero engine MRO industry.