Today, General Electric (NYSE:GE) Co. and Safran (EPA:SAF) SA initiated legal proceedings against AOG Technics Ltd., an aircraft parts provider implicated in a scandal involving fake components. This marks the first time this controversy has reached a courtroom.
AOG Technics, founded by Jose Zamora Yrala in 2015, is under scrutiny from the European Union Aviation Safety Agency for allegedly forging numerous certifications for parts it provided. Yrala has not responded since the scandal was first reported.
This scandal has prompted airlines and suppliers to urgently assess its implications, as dubious components have been found on various older single-aisle jets. These findings have led to part replacements, adding further strain to the already stressed spare-parts market.
The documentation that General Electric and Safran are seeking includes comprehensive details such as the identity of the part manufacturer and any entity that performed maintenance or repair services on these parts. This information is crucial for the ongoing investigation by the UK's Civil Aviation Authorities and will assist operators in deciding their next steps regarding the spare parts.
However, AOG Technics' lawyers argue that this request is excessively demanding and lacks adequate evidence to warrant the removal of all parts from the supply chain. They maintain that the UK's aviation regulator is already investigating the issue and that this demand goes beyond what is necessary for public safety considerations.
The situation is serious as some of the counterfeit parts are key components like engine blades, which could pose substantial safety risks if not identified and replaced. CFM International, a manufacturer of CFM56 engines for many older Airbus A320 and Boeing (NYSE:BA) 737 airliners—the most popular category in civil aviation—is particularly impacted by this problem.
While AOG has committed to preserving all documents and is actively cooperating with the Civil Aviation Authority, Safran has decided to withhold comments until after the London hearing concludes.
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