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 Korean Air Building Asia’s Largest Engine MRO Facility


Korean Air Building Asia’s Largest Engine MRO Facility

Asia’s largest aircraft maintenance cluster is being built in Unbuk near Incheon International Airport in South Korea by Korean Air and the facility, scheduled to be opened in 2027, will bolster the airline’s aircraft engine maintenance capabilities and fortify the Korean national carrier’s aviation maintenance, repair and overhauling (MRO) business.

The facility will enhance its aircraft engine maintenance capability from servicing 100 engines to 360 annually, across a broader spectrum of engine types. Currently, the airline conducts overhauls on six engine models, including Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 and GTF, CFM International’s CFM56, and General Electric’s GE90-115B.

The expansion includes adding three more engine models to its portfolio, including GE’s GEnx and CFMI’s LEAP-1B. The airline is also exploring the possibility of servicing Asiana Airlines engines, including the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB used in the Airbus A350.

The airline held a ground-breaking ceremony on Thursday, which was attended by Walter Cho, Chairman and CEO of Korean Air, Sung-kyu Maeng, Committee Member of the National Assembly’s Committee on Land, Infrastructure and Transport, June-young Bae, Congressman of Jung-gu District, Incheon, Jeong-bok Yoo, Mayor of Incheon Metropolitan City, Won-sok Yun, Commissioner of the Incheon Free Economic Zone; and Jong-il Kim, CEO of Kolon Global Corporation among others.

Image courtesy: Korean Air

Priority for Safety

Highest Standards Speaking on the occasion, Walter Cho said that engine was like the heart of the airplane and Korean Air pledges to uphold the highest standards of safety, and is committed to elevating Korea’s competitive edge in a highly specialized sector of aviation.

The new engine maintenance plant features seven levels spanning more than 140,000 square meters. The construction of the $439 million facility will be undertaken by Kolon Global, and will be strategically constructed adjacent to the existing Engine Test Cell (ETC) that the airline has operated since 2016.

Korean Air has previously managed its engine maintenance at its Bucheon facility, complemented by final performance testing at the ETC in Unbuk. The engine maintenance cluster will streamline this process with a strategic consolidation, enhancing operational efficiency by bringing all phases of engine maintenance to a single, centralised site.

The new maintenance cluster is expected to generate over 1,000 new jobs to bolster the domestic aviation MRO industry’s competitiveness and reduce dependence on international maintenance services.

Korean Air is the sole operator of specialised facilities for civilian aircraft engine overhauls in Korea. The airline began overhauling Boeing 707 aircraft engines in 1976, and has since rebuilt nearly 5,000 engines and supplied engines to other airlines, including its subsidiary Jin Air, as well as international carriers like Delta Air Lines and China Southern Airlines.

Global Business Magazine

Global Business Magazine

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