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Korean Air to Open New Engine Maintenance Facility in Unbuk, Yeongjong Island

Korean Air has started construction on a new engine maintenance facility in Unbuk, Yeongjong Island near Incheon International Airport, which is scheduled to open in 2027.


Aerial view of Korean Air's future engine maintenance cluster in Unbuk, Yeongjong Island near Incheon International Airport, South Korea – Courtesy Korean Air

On Thursday (March 14, 2024), Korean Air announced plans for a new engine maintenance facility in Unbuk, Yeongjong Island, which is slated to open in 2027.  Located near Incheon International Airport, the new engine maintenance complex will be the largest in Asia, bolstering the airline’s engine maintenance capabilities and strengthening their MRO business.  The facility is expected to generate over 1,000 new jobs.  The March 14th groundbreaking ceremony was attended by Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO, Walter Cho, Sung-kyu Maeg, Committee Member of the National Assembly’s Committee on Land, Infrastructure and Transport, along with other dignitaries.


Speaking at Thursday’s groundbreaking ceremony, Korean Air’s Chairman and CEO, Walter Cho, said,


“The engine is like the heart of the airplane.  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 140,000+ square meter  578 billion won (US $435 million) facility will feature seven levels.  Construction will be undertaken by Kolon Global, and the facility will be strategically built adjacent to the carrier’s existing Engine Test Cell (ETC), which has been in operation since 2016.  Korean Air previously managed engine maintenance at their Bucheon facility, complemented by final performance testing at the ETC in Unbuk.  The new facility will bring all phases of engine maintenance to a single, centralized site.


With the new facility, Korean Air will increase their engine maintenance capability from 100 to 360 engines annually, across a broader range of engine types.  Currently, the carrier conducts overhauls on six engine types, including  Pratt & Whitney’s PW4000 and GTF, CFM International’s CFM56, and General Electric’s GE90-115B.  The new facility will also overhaul three additional engine types, namely GE’s GEnx and CFM International’s LEAP-1B engines.  Additionally, Korean Air is currently exploring the possibility of servicing Asian Airlines’ engines, including the Rolls-Royce Trent XWB powering the Airbus A350.

 

Korean Air is the only MRO with specialized facilities for commercial aircraft engine overhauls in Korea.  In 1976, the carrier began overhauling Boeing 707 engines, and has since rebuilt nearly 5,000 engines, and has also supplied engines to their Jin Air subsidiary, as well as to international airlines such as Delta Air Lines and China Southern Airlines.  Korean Air holds airworthiness certifications from 13 domestic and international authorities, including the Korean Federal Aviation Administration, the FAA, EASA and CAAC.

 


Source: Korean Air

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