Iberia Maintenance has established itself as a major V2500 engine maintainence hub.
Iberia Maintenance has established itself as a center of excellence for the IAE V2500 engine after over 50% of powerplants brought in during 2022 were of the type. Airlines such as Qatar Airways and HK Express chose the Spanish maintenance company for their aging engines, which require checks to increase their service life.
Iberia is the Spanish flag carrier and, like many operators, has its own maintenance arm to service its fleet of over 80 aircraft as well as more from the wider IAG Group. However, Iberia Maintenance has also expanded to service other airline clients, with DHL, RwandAir, Qatar Airways, and more in the list of 100+ customers. This is a common phenomenon, with Lufthansa Technik another major European name in the MRO space (maintenance, repair, and overhaul).
Aircraft engines come in all shapes and sizes, with each type needing its own facilities. Last week, Iberia announced that it had established itself as a center of excellence for the IAE V2500 engine, the powerplant used on the Airbus A320ceo family, among others. Turkish Technic and other MRO providers have also achieved this title, usually coming after several airline clients signed contracts for their V2500s.
Photo: Qatar Airways
The International Aero Engines V2500 is a joint-venture project by Pratt & Whitney and subsidiaries (50%), MTU Aero Engines (25%), and Japanese Aero Engines (25%). Formed to create this engine, the firm now works on servicing the powerplant, which is used primarily on the A320, but also the McDonell Douglas MD-90.
Notably, all of Iberia’s A320s are equipped with CFM56 engines, which means all V2500 maintenance is being conducted for external carriers. So, why did 2022 see the Spanish MRO establish itself as a center for excellence?
The last 12 months have been busy for Iberia Maintenance. After the pandemic saw airlines put off expensive MRO programs for their grounded fleets, high demand means the market is bustling again. The firm cites three major contracts in recent months.
HK Express signed a deal to maintain its 32 V2500 engines, flying on the A320-200 and A321-200 fleets, in January. Qatar Airways quickly followed up the next month with an agreement to service its V2500s for the coming years, which is present on its entire Airbus narrowbody fleet. RwandAir will be exclusively serviced by Iberia Maintenance for its CFM56 engines, powering the Boeing 737.
Looking to the future
As you may have noted, the V2500 is rapidly being replaced by the likes of CFM LEAP and P&W PW1000G (GTF), which powers the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX families. However, that doesn’t mean the aging engines don’t need maintenance. If anything, they require more care to ensure they can reach their maximum cycles.
In a statement, Eylo Gonzalez, Engine Shop Director at Iberia Maintenance, notes,
“The aeronautical maintenance sector is at a turning point and companies have to adapt to it. We have to be able to respond to the current demands of our customers while preparing for the future and that is what we are doing at Iberia Maintenance. In this way, a stable workload is guaranteed for the future”
Indeed, in October, Iberia Maintenance secured a license to maintain the Pratt & Whitney PW1000G, and the first engine is set to arrive in the second half of 2023. For now, the MRO firm is set to have decades of business serving airlines at home and globally.