Landing Gear Exchange
MX by Uzbekistan
Country has low ICAO USOAP rating
Two headlines and two texts with slightly different wordings. Neither explicitly describes the specific nature of the responsibilities of the parties. The ambiguity, if read in its most positive connotations, would indicate a high level of confidence in the Uzbekistan maintenance competence. However, by researching behind the PR language, it is an important commercial contract, it allows for growth in the maintenance capabilities of Uzbekistan Airways [Узбекские Авиалинии] (HY), but it is not an acknowledgement by Boeing that its customer is fully ready to maintain and overhaul the complex and critical landing gears.
HY is a 27 year old airline which is the is the flag carrier airline of Uzbekistan, headquartered in Tashkent. From its hub at Tashkent International Airport, the airline serves a number of domestic destinations; the company also flies international services to Asia, Europe and North America. Its fleet of 26 aircraft includes 13 Boeing aircraft and 10 Airbus planes plus it has orders to add another 6 passenger planes.
From 1995 to 2004, the carrier had six crashes, 5 fatal, all of Russian aircraft, but since buying Western airplanes, it has not had a crash. “An informed source in the company” was quoted in Fergana news to say that two of the airline’s Dreamliners were allegedly damaged due to improper operation.
One measure of airline technical competence is the carriers which deign to code share with the subject operator. HY has relationships with eight others, none recognized as gold standard in their own rights.
The Uzbekistan CAA adds to the doubts. The ICAO USOAP assesses the aviation authority’s compliance with international standards and not directly of the carriers within the jurisdiction. This table displays the scores:
The two stories:
Boeing and Uzbekistan Airways signed a MRO agreement for the latter’s 787-8 Dreamliner fleet, the two parties announced on February 11, 2019. In particular, Boeing is to provide landing gear exchanges for the carrier, claiming that the program “greatly reduces maintenance time, helps the airline quickly return airplanes to service, and enables the airline to focus its resources on core operations,” according to a statement.
Both companies already operate a joint Composite Repair Shop in Tashkent, Uzbekistan.
The news comes at the time as Uzbekistan Airways is loosening financial control of its MRO unit Uzbekistan Airways Technics (UAT). The move is aimed to give the MRO company more flexibility in decision making and is the first step of separation process, which eventually could see the UAT becoming an independent entity, Russian aviation media reported in autumn 2018.
Boeing [NYSE: BA] reached an agreement with Uzbekistan Airways to provide services that will enable the airline to more efficiently and effectively maintain its 787-8 Dreamliner fleet through the Boeing Landing Gear Exchange program.
The flag carrier of the Republic of Uzbekistan will rely on Boeing to support its fleet with quick and reliable landing gear exchanges when and where they need them. This program greatly reduces maintenance time, helps the airline quickly return airplanes to service, and enables the airline to focus its resources on core operations.
“We are proud to provide our customers with value-added services that deliver results and drive efficiencies in their operations,” said Ihssane Mounir, senior vice president of Commercial Sales & Marketing for The Boeing Company. “Our Landing Gear Exchange program does just that by providing a cost-effective and reliable way for customers to manage overhauls quickly and efficiently.”
So exactly what is the Boeing Landing Gear Exchange program?
Deep within the Boeing website, the program is explained with more precision:
When an airplane covered by the program requires landing gear replacement or overhaul, Boeing provides an overhauled, certified, ready-to-install gear for the airplane’s unserviceable landing gear. Once the serviceable gear is installed by the operator, the operator then ships the removed unserviceable gear to one of the Boeing-designated overhaul facilities (see fig. 1). This process eliminates the need for operators to contract and schedule landing gear overhauls themselves and manage the landing gear overhaul supply chain, which can save them labor and other costs. All parts in the overhauled gear set provided to the operator meet all worldwide regulatory requirements and are covered by a Boeing three-year warranty
Uzbekistan Airways is moving on up, but has more to do.
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