© Andrey Popov

The scandal that has seen fake aircraft spare parts and counterfeit documents sent to airlines has not impacted the air cargo industry, say insiders. 

While several passenger airlines have been affected, uncertified parts have not made their way to freighters. 

UK firm AOG Technics is being investigated by regulators after claims it supplied fake parts for jet engines powering A320 and B737 planes along with fraudulent safety certificates.

On 21 September, the FAA issued an Unapproved Parts Notification for CFM56 parts for the world’s best-selling aircraft engine that have been sold by AOG.   

The unapproved bushing parts are frequently seen in older-generation A320s and B737s, triggering concerns that they may have made their way into the freighter conversion market. 

Toma Matutyte, CEO of Locatory.com aircraft parts and supplies, said today: “Airplane parts suppliers and, especially, marketplaces for aerospace parts and supplies play a crucial role in supporting the MRO sector, airplane operators and the whole aviation industry.” 

But Tom Crabtree, MD of Trade and Transport Group and former research analyst for Boeing, explained that when conversions take place, aircraft undergo “heavy maintenance checks with a fine-tooth comb” and a faulty part would be identified immediately.  

He added he had “no evidence” of the scandal impacting freighters, and Robert Convey, SVP at conversion company AEI, told The Loadstar: “I am not aware of this impacting any of my customers.” 

The scandal is said to involve falsified documents and uncertified parts in at least 126 commercial aircraft engines, affecting carriers including Southwest Airlines, Virgin Australia, Delta and United Airlines.  

While freighters appear to be safe, the issue has triggered alarm over the security of aerospace supply chains. Mr Crabtree said safety was “paramount” for both company reputation and customer welfare.  

“There probably will be several implications,” added Ms Matutyte. “The aviation MRO sector is poised for increased regulatory scrutiny and stricter compliance measures.

“Moreover, there could  be a quality assurance reassessment as MRO facilities will need to revisit their procedures and quality control principles… MRO companies will need to collaborate with trusted suppliers and enhance supply chain transparency to prevent counterfeit parts from infiltrating the system.” 

AOG Technics was found to have fake employee profiles on LinkedIn and a fake listed office address near Buckingham Palace in London. 

One profile was for Ray Kwong, listed as the company’s chief commercial officer, with previous experience at Mitsubishi and Nissan, but neither have been able to confirm he was employed by them.  

Matthew Reeve, a lawyer in the case, claimed AOG Technics had engaged in a “deliberate, dishonest and sophisticated scheme to deceive the market with falsified documents on an industrial scale”. 

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