Friday, February 02, 2007

LCCs in talks to set up facilities for aircraft upkeep

Mumbai: Low-cost carriers (LCCs), including Air Deccan, Kingfisher and GoAir are in the process of forming joint ventures with foreign firms to set up maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities in India. Currently, these carriers have to either fly their aircraft to places like Abu Dhabi, Singapore or Belgium for secondary services.
Air Deccan officials confirmed that they have been in talks with global firms like Germany’s Lufthansa Technik and Singapore-based SIA Engineering, for the past one year for an MRO.
Go Air, which formed a joint venture with SIA Engineering, is now working out the details of the agreement. Kingfisher Airlines is likely to announce an alliance with either SIA Engineering or a prominent US-based engineering firm next week. The initial cost of setting up a hangar and other tools, along with the basic workshop, would be over Rs 100 crore. Sending aircraft abroad for MRO costs the company Rs 25 lakh per aircraft, he said.
Currently, only Boeing has an MRO facility in Nagpur that offers services to Air-India, Jet Airways and Air Sahara, as per its aircraft purchase agreement with these carriers. Airbus is close to setting up a facility in Nashik and ATR is finalising a location for the facility in Bangalore.
02/01/07 Shaheen Mansuri/Economic Times