Friday, November 04, 2016

Air India MRO starts Airbus maintenance

Air India’s maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) unit at Mihan-SEZ took in the first Airbus A320 aircraft for a maintenance job on Thursday. So far the MRO, which has been built by Boeing and taken over by Air India, was catering to Boeing’s 777 series of planes. It recently got approval from Directorate General Civil Aviation (DGCA) for conducting checks for Airbus 319, 320 and 321 aircraft.
With Nagpur MRO taken over last year, Air India has much spare capacity on its maintenance assets. Following government directions, AI has planned to lease it out to a private player. However, even after extending the dates for receiving offers, it ended up getting only one bid. “This indicates there is not much interest in the market for running the MRO. Air India is confident of undertaking the operations on its own,” said company chairman Ashwani Lohani. He was in the city to attend the function to flag off work on Airbus planes.
It is learnt that the bid received has been marked as KLM on the cover. Since it is a sealed cover, not much could be known about the company. The matter has been put up before the government for taking a further call on the issue. A decision will have to be taken whether to go ahead with opening the single bid or start the process again.
The ministry of civil aviation wants Nagpur facility to grow fast but Air India as a PSU may have its own constraints. A third party investor could give a push to the business, said a source. Under the plan, the MRO will be given on a 30-year lease on a revenue sharing basis. Air India will not provide any captive business to the private player. At present, only in-house planes are being serviced at Nagpur MRO.
04/11/16 Shishir Arya/The Times Of India