Safran Calls for Investigation into Alleged Distribution of Falsely Documented Engine Parts

The CEO of Safran, a French engine manufacturer, demanded a criminal probe on Friday into claims that a London-based company distributed aircraft engine parts with fraudulent documentation. Safran and its American counterpart, GE Aerospace, have accused AOG Technics of selling thousands of parts for the world’s most popular jet engine, produced by their joint venture CFM International, with counterfeit certification documents. 


AOG Technics, a parts supplier, has not publicly responded to the accusations but informed a UK court last month that it was fully cooperating with the investigations by the firms and regulatory bodies. In August, the UK’s Civil Aviation Authority announced it was “probing the provision of a significant quantity of dubious unapproved parts” via AOG Technics. Warnings about suspicious parts from AOG Technics have also been issued by EU and US regulators. 


“I am hopeful and confident that there will be a criminal investigation,” stated Olivier Andries, Safran’s CEO, to journalists following the company’s quarterly earnings report. Attempts to contact AOG Technics for a response were unsuccessful. Calls to its London offices on Friday were directed to voicemail, and its UK legal representative was not immediately available. CFM, which designs and manufactures the CFM56 engines used in certain Boeing and Airbus aircraft, took legal action against AOG Technics in the UK in September to obtain documents related to their transactions. 

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Andries revealed that CFM had strengthened its own processes after court documents disclosed last month that the engine firm had directly or indirectly purchased some of the questionable parts. “This is one of the lessons we’ve learned,” he remarked. The aviation industry has been plagued by counterfeit parts for years, but the discovery of uncertified parts within advanced jet engines has raised alarm and initiated efforts to locate them. This situation also highlighted a regulatory loophole as distributors are not subject to the controls enforced on other industry sectors. After examining the documentation provided by AOG Technics, CFM announced this week that it had discovered 180 falsified documents covering 124 part numbers. Andries stated that half of the 145 affected engines have been fixed and the rest will be addressed soon. However, as less than 1% of the CFM56 fleet is impacted, Andries assured analysts that this would have an “absolutely minimal” effect on its aftermarket operations.

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