01 Nov 2023 -

Safran pushes for investigation over fake jet engine components

American Airlines

The CEO of French engine manufacturer, Safran, Olivier Andries, is advocating for a criminal investigation into claims that London’s AOG Technics supplied aircraft engine parts with falsified documentation, reports Reuters.

This concerns Safran’s partnership with US-based GE Aerospace under their joint venture, CFM International, which alleges that the world’s highest-selling jet engine had components from AOG Technics with counterfeit certifications. 

AOG Technics, while refraining from a public statement, informed a British court of its full cooperation in the ongoing corporate and regulatory probes. In August, Britain’s Civil Aviation Authority expressed concerns about AOG Technics, which was mirrored by regulators in both the US and EU, hinting at the possible supply of counterfeit parts.

In an interaction with the press, following a quarterly results presentation, Andries stated his hope for a criminal investigation. Despite the allegations, reaching out to AOG Technics proved futile, with calls being diverted to voicemail.

CFM International, responsible for CFM56 engines – popularly used in certain Boeing and Airbus aircraft – had taken AOG Technics to court in September to garner related documentation. In light of recent revelations that CFM inadvertently purchased some questionable parts, Andries mentioned the company’s move to enhance its operational protocols.

The aviation industry has battled the challenge of counterfeit components for a long time. However, the discovery of unverified components in sophisticated jet engines has not only ignited serious safety concerns but also revealed an oversight in the industry’s regulatory framework. After examining documents from AOG Technics, CFM has identified 180 fraudulent documents linked to 124 unique parts.

Andries provided reassurance, stating that 50% of the 145 affected engines have been addressed, and the rest are slated for imminent repairs. He further emphasised to stakeholders that less than 1% of the CFM56 fleet is impacted, predicting a negligible effect on after-sales services.

According to Bloomberg, following an extensive evaluation by the joint venture of General Electric Co. and Safran SA, it was found that 145 engines globally were fitted with parts connected to AOG Technics. These engines, predominantly used in older Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft, signify a vital component of the global aviation landscape. After an exhaustive document review, CFM asserts that they now have a more transparent understanding of the scandal’s dimensions.

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