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Royal Air Maroc, Safran Strengthen Engine Maintenance Partnership

The two companies will expand its Casablanca maintenance facility.

A Royal Air Maroc Boeing 737-800 (Photo: AirlineGeeks | William Derrickson)

Royal Air Maroc and Safran have deepened their collaboration in aircraft engine maintenance. In celebration of its 25th anniversary, Safran Aircraft Engines Services Morocco (SAESM), a joint venture between Safran Aircraft Engines and Royal Air Maroc, unveiled an extension to its Nouaceur plant adjacent to Casablanca’s Mohammed V International Airport, as announced in a press release on April 18, 2024.

The event was joined by Mohammed Abdeljalil, Moroccan Minister of Transport and Logistics, Hamid Addou, Chairman and CEO of Royal Air Maroc, Jean-Paul Alary, CEO of Safran Aircraft Engines, and Abdallah Chatter, governor of the Nouaceur region.

The partners also formalized a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for the continued expansion of the facility, encompassing an additional 2,000 square meters (21,500 sq. ft) of space. This expansion is set to bolster the capacity from 70 to 100 shop visits annually by 2026.

SAESM is solidifying its stature as a center of excellence for the CFM56 engine family within Safran’s broader maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) network, providing airlines with services spanning the entire MRO process, from diagnosis to performance assurance at the test bench.

The CFM56 engine, developed by Safran Aircraft Engines and GE Aerospace through their CFM International joint venture, currently powers a significant portion of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 airliners, with over 33,000 engines delivered.

“Today marks the onset of a new chapter in our collaboration with Safran. This agreement will not only facilitate the expansion of our Casablanca facility but also enhance our expertise in the aviation sector. Royal Air Maroc takes pride in partnering with Safran to bolster Morocco’s aviation landscape and elevate our nation’s standing in the global aerospace arena,” stated Hamid Addou, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Royal Air Maroc.

To support this growth, SAESM plans to recruit approximately 100 individuals by 2026, increasing the plant’s total workforce to 350. Additionally, it will leverage key local academic alliances, backed by Royal Air Maroc and Safran Aircraft Engines, to nurture MRO proficiency in Morocco.

Jean-Paul Alary, CEO of Safran Aircraft Engines, remarked: “We are thrilled to deepen our collaboration with Royal Air Maroc and tap into the pool of top-tier talent in Morocco, aligning with our robust industrial focus on the CFM56. Since its inception 25 years ago, SAESM has emerged as a benchmark in our global MRO network, distinguished by operational excellence, innovation, and carbon footprint reduction.”

In an effort to curb CO2 emissions from Safran’s facilities, the Casablanca site is investing in the installation of solar panels on building rooftops and parking lot shade structures, aiming to achieve a 30% share of renewable energy by 2025.

According to the Groupement des Industries Marocaines Aéronautiques et Spatiales (GIMAS), Morocco has 140 companies specialized in aeronautics and space, making it one of the most attractive in the continent in this field.

The country’s aerospace sector is undergoing significant expansion with a notable project focused on converting Boeing 777-300ER aircraft into freighters, a venture, announced on April 13, 2024, between Kansas Modification Center, LLC (KMC), Stratos Industries, and Integrated Aerospace Alliance, LLC (IAA).

Victor Shalton

Author

  • Victor Shalton

    Born and raised in Nairobi, Kenya, Victor’s love for aviation goes way back to when he was 11-years-old. Living close to Jomo Kenyatta International Airport, he developed a love for planes and he even recalls aspiring to be a future airline executive for Kenya Airways. He also has a passion in the arts and loves writing and had his own aviation blog prior to joining AirlineGeeks. He is currently pursuing a bachelor’s degree in business administration at DeKUT and aspiring to make a career in a more aviation-related course.

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