General Electric Co. and Safran SA demanded that a little-known aircraft parts supplier at the heart of a scandal involving bogus components discloses all documents relating to “every single sale of products,” as a growing number of airlines are finding the parts on their planes.
(Bloomberg) — General Electric Co. and Safran SA demanded that a little-known aircraft parts supplier at the heart of a scandal involving bogus components discloses all documents relating to “every single sale of products,” as a growing number of airlines are finding the parts on their planes.
The companies, who are partners in the CFM International engine consortium, asked a London judge on Wednesday to force AOG Technics Ltd. to hand over the paperwork, marking the first time the scandal has tipped into a court room.
AOG was set up in 2015 by Jose Zamora Yrala, who hasn’t responded to calls or e-mails since Bloomberg first reported on the fallout last month. The European Union Aviation Safety Agency has said that it suspects “numerous” certifications for parts supplied by the company were forged.
Suppliers and airlines are racing to assess the fallout from the scandal involving parts with unclear origin. So far, several airlines have said they’ve identified components on their older single-aisle jets and have switched out the parts, causing further strain on an already tight spare-parts market.
The information would also be needed by the UK’s Civil Aviation Authorities for its investigation and and is required “so that a decision can be made by the operators as to what they want to do with the spare parts,” Mathew Reeve, General Electric’s lawyer, said in the court on Wednesday.
The disclosure features a wealth of requested detail including background information such as the identity of the manufacturer and of any entity that ever performed maintenance or repair service on the relevant parts, AOG’s lawyer said in court filings.
The details by the manufacturers sought are “onerous” and “there is no evidence that it is necessary for all parts to be removed from the supply chain,” lawyers for AOG Technics responded in documents prepared for the court hearing.
The UK’s aviation regulator is already investigating the issues and the request goes “far beyond what is necessary” for public safety considerations, they said.
CFM International makes the CFM56 engine for many older Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 airliners, by far the most widely flown category in civil aviation.
Regulators have said that some of the bogus parts were for critical gear like engine blades, raising the stakes to find the components because they might pose a serious safety risk.
AOG will preserve all the documents and is “actively cooperating,” with the Civil Aviation Authority, its lawyers said.
A spokesperson for Safran said the firm wouldn’t comment until the end of the London hearing.
–With assistance from Albertina Torsoli.
More stories like this are available on bloomberg.com
©2023 Bloomberg L.P.