Beijing-based Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Ameco Beijing) says it is closely monitoring the market for Airbus A380 maintenance, repair and overhaul market (MRO) as it plans to expand its capabilities for the type. The company also plans to expand heavy maintenance capability for smaller A330 widebody twinjet. With more than 240 A380s – the world’s largest jetliner – sold to airlines worldwide, Ameco says MRO demand for the aircraft is expanding.
8th Dec 2011
Ameco eyes expansion of A380 capabilities
Beijing-based Aircraft Maintenance Engineering (Ameco Beijing) says it is closely monitoring the market for Airbus A380 maintenance, repair and overhaul market (MRO) as it plans to expand its capabilities for the type. The company also plans to expand heavy maintenance capability for smaller A330 widebody twinjet.
With more than 240 A380s – the world’s largest jetliner – sold to airlines worldwide, Ameco says MRO demand for the aircraft is expanding.
Dr Andreas Heizner, Ameco’s general manager and chief executive officer, says the company has an advantage in the market, since it already has an A380 hangar – one of the biggest maintenance hangars in the world. Heizner says demand and market opportunities will dictate exactly what services the company offers.
Ameco invested 710 million yuan (US$109.23 million) in the development of the 72,000 square-metre building of which the 41,000 square-metre hangar is a part. The facility has the capacity to accommodate six conventional widebody aircraft, or an A380 and four narrowbody aircraft at the same time.
The company also has a 10,000 square-metre, fully enclosed and temperature-controlled hangar for stripping and painting aircraft types up to the size of a Boeing 747. Component workshops cover 20,000 square metres, including: temperature-controlled avionics and electrical workshops; a landing-gear overhaul shop; and mechanical, pneumatic and hydraulic systems workshops.
The A380 hangar is currently utilised for line-maintenance on Lufthansa’s Superjumbo deployed on the daily Frankfurt-Beijing route, as well as Air China’s Beijing-based fleet and third-party customer airlines. The company offers maintenance up to C-check, cabin retrofit, modifications and other services for the type.
Airframe heavy maintenance (HVM) capability for A330 will be offered to tap an expanding MRO market for the aircraft. With Ameco already offering A340 HVM capability, the addition of the A330 will complete the company’s portfolio for Airbus’s widebody jetliner family. Ameco expects to do its first heavy maintenance check on a customer’s A330 in 2012.
The MRO provider also offers maintenance and component repairs for: Boeing 747, 777, 767, 737NG, and 737 Classic; and Airbus’s single-aisle A320. The company furthermore offers cabin upgrades for 747,777, 767 and 737 aircraft.
[Byline:] – William Dennis
Korea’s T’Way to add China, Philippines services
Korean low-cost carrier (LCC) T’way Airlines is finalising plans to fly to China and the Philippines in 2012.
The Seoul-based carrier will introduce services to Cebu and Kalibo in the Philippines using Boeing 737-800 jets in the second quarter of the year, adding flights to Kunming and Xi’an, China, in the third quarter. It is also seeking regulatory approval to fly to Japan.
According to a T’Way official in Seoul, the airline previously looked at flying to Clark, a booming tourist destination in the Philippines, but abandoned the idea as a rival Korean LCC, Jin Air, is offering five weekly services using Airbus A320 jets.
The official said Davao and Kalibo, two popular tourist destinations, would be more viable as there is no competition on the routes. T’Way launched daily Seoul-Bangkok flights on 15 October, becoming the third Korean LCC to operate that highly-competitive route, alongside Jin Air and Jeju Air. T’Way will gradually expand its network further as its fleet grows.
The carrier, which now operates four, single-class 737-800s – two seating 189 passengers and the other two configured for 186 – will add two aircraft a year from 2012 to 2014. T’way has opened a sales office in Bangkok to tap growing passenger traffic on the Seoul-Bangkok route.
According to the Tourism Authority of Thailand, South Korean tourist arrivals in the first ten months of the year increased 46.1 percent to 654,490 as compared to the same period in 2010.
As part of T’Way’s plan to introduce best industry practices in the maintenance of its fleet and to reduce aircraft turnaround times, the carrier acquired new Ramco Systems Series 5 software for maintenance and engineering in October. The software will help the airline manage fleet maintenance and supply chains.
T’Way, was previously called Hansung Airlines, was set up in March 2004 as an evenly split joint venture between the Cheongju city government and University of Chungcheong.
The carrier received its air operating certificate from the Ministry of Land, Transportation and Maritime Affairs in January 2005, and started operations in August that year with a fleet of three ATR72-500 turboprops.
The airline suspended operations three months later due to financial troubles, resuming in February 2006 after an injection of funds. The Korean government later ordered operations shut down in October 2008 due to mounting losses, after which the carrier was relaunched in August 2010.