September 05, 2012
Credit: AFI KLM
Air France-KLM could open at least one component maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in China to provide support to local operators.
The company’s Air France unit has presented the plans to its workers councils, and the majority of council members have supported the concept.
The airline is not looking at airframe maintenance and will limit the scope of work to component servicing, should the MRO plan proceed.
An Air France official says the airline does not plan on transferring existing work from French facilities to China. The new facilities will focus on serving Chinese airlines, the official adds.
Air France is not discussing when it will make a decision on this China strategy or where the operations will be based; however, it is understood the airline is negotiating a joint venture with a Chinese partner.
Air France-KLM has strong connections in China, with China Eastern Airlines and China Southern Airlines both partners in the SkyTeam alliance. These airlines are based in Shanghai and Guangzhou, respectively.