Aero Norway, a specialist CFM56 engine repair facility, has appointed Dag Johnsen to the position of Chief Operating Officer. He replaces Neil Russell who became CEO in October. He joins from United Airlines where he managed the Powerplant Engineering team for the past 10 years and had direct oversight for the technical support of more than 700 CFM56-7B engines in operation. As Chief Operating Officer (COO) of Aero Norway, he will be responsible for ensuring that all maintenance is carried out to the standards established by EASA (CAA-N), FAA, CAAC and other regulatory agencies.
On joining Aero Norway, Johnsen comments, “When I first visited Aero Norway last year, I felt the sense of a very close-knit business where everybody understood the strength that close collaboration brings. Aero Norway focuses on open and honest communication with customers instilling a secure level of confidence in a very competitive business. The customer support teams are based in work units adjacent to the shop floor where the customer support leader, powerplant engineer, finance analyst, and procurement planners are co-located, enabling quick and effective communication. This fosters a very different spirit from some of the larger MROs that I have worked with in the past and I feel very much at home here. Aero Norway has an industry reputation for delivering superior EGT margins and competitive TATs - helping their customers achieve dispatch reliability and commercial success – I am looking forward to sustaining that distinction.”
“Dag has worked closely with various MROs throughout the world, both OEM affiliated as well as independent service providers,” says Neil Russell, CEO. “This depth of experience has given him a great understanding of how different engine MROs are set up. In his last role with United Airlines, he had direct oversight over an airline in-house MRO engineering support organisation and has seen the MRO business from both a customer and operator’s view and he will bring this perspective to Aero Norway.”
Looking ahead from an operational perspective Johnsen will be building on Aero Norway’s heritage and bringing his particular strengths. “As the A320neo and B737MAX family continues to grow we need to start looking at introducing new engine programmes such as the LEAP-1A and -1B”, he explains. “I am very familiar with this engine programme and will streamline the integration into our capability list as we start tooling up.”
After completing his military service in the Royal Norwegian Air Force and attending an officer candidate school, Johnsen attended Northrop University in Los Angeles, California earning a BSc degree in Aerospace Engineering. He started as a powerplant engineer for Continental Airlines in 1988 working with several programmes such as APUs, CF6 and GE90. He transitioned to his first leadership role in 2004 when he became manager of the Systems Engineering team at Continental Airlines, a position he held through the merger with United Airlines in 2012. He moved to managing the Powerplant Engineering team at United Airlines in 2014, a position he held until January 2024 when he assumed the new role at Aero Norway.
Johnsen adds, “I was born in Stavanger, Aero Norway’s home city, and grew up in Lier, just 30 minutes west of Oslo. My close family and the friends I grew up with are still in Norway and I look forward to relocating my wife, daughter, and pets here soon.”