April 04, 2013
Credit: International Aero Engines
Pratt & Whitney and Air New Zealand plan to invest a combined NZ$20 million ($16.8 million) to increase by 50% the capacity of their joint venture engine overhaul center.
The project will allow the Christchurch Engine Center in New Zealand “to consolidate all of its operations into one central workshop where currently they are operated out of multiple locations,” the center’s general manager Brendon McWilliam tells Aviation Week. It will also mean efficiency gains, he says.
“While the main driver for the extension is consolidation of activities, we are designing the building with the ability to expand the throughput of engines when the demand is required,” says McWilliam.
The facility, which primarily overhauls IAE V2500 engines fitted to Airbus A320-family aircraft, is constrained to a rate of about 80 engines per year, and the upgrade will allow it to increase annual capacity to 120 units. The expansion means “we will be positioned well for growth in the future,” McWilliam adds.
The V2500 engine shop was established in an existing facility in 2005, with P&W owning 51% and Air New Zealand 49%, and currently employs more than 300 staff. This latest expansion is due to be completed in 2014.
While Air New Zealand’s growing A320 fleet is an important source of work for the facility, it also has many overseas carriers as customers.