Published On:May 22 2019
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Air India to upgrade MRO operations in Hyderabad.

The Air India MRO facility based in Hyderabad is seeking to expand/upgrade its operations to serve a wider range of aircraft while working towards EASA 145 certification.

The MRO, set up in 2015, is in talks with ATR to set up a servicing facility and Indigo, which has a big base here, to offer services.

EASA certification

The European Aviation Safety Agency certification aligned to the maintenance will enable the AI facility to re-certify foreign aircraft being deployed in the country.

Explaining the functioning of the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul facility at the site located close to the Rajiv Gandhi International Airport at Shamshabad, Air India officials said there is growing demand for MRO services, including spares and overall maintenance.

The Hyderabad-based MRO, operated by the national carrier, is part of its engineering services subsidiary Air India Engineering Services Ltd. While the government and Air India are seeking to divest stake across various businesses, the MRO is continuing to explore expansion of business.

Talks with other airlines

G Soloman Jayabalan, General Manager (Engineering) and Station Head, Hyderabad, said, “The MRO has capacity to handle ATR-72 and A320 aircraft. We plan to capitalise on this capability and expand the services both for AI and non-AI business.”

It can accommodate wide-bodied aircraft, including B747 and B777. “Indigo has a sizeable fleet in Hyderabad, where it has a hub. Our marketing department is engaged in talks to offer services and efforts are on to add other airliners. Apart from component servicing, which is as big as maintenance of aircraft, re-certification will be new area of focus once we get EASA certification,” NS Chakravarthy, Deputy General Manager of MRO, told BusinessLine .

With the country’s civil aviation sector growing at a hectic pace, potential for re-delivery checks for international airliners is huge as they insist on EASA.

Divestment

After the effort to divest stake in Air India did not go through in May 2018 and then kept on hold, the government decided to speed up the divestment process in April this year.

As a part of the initiative, it had asked the carrier to prepare the financials of itself and its subsidiaries by June 2019. This includes AIESL, which is treated as a separate profit centre.

The maintenance subsidiary of Air India, Air India Engineering Services Ltd (AIESL), was established in 2013. This was after Air India’s decision to separate the engineering and groundhandling services into two wholly-owned subsidiaries aimed at working towards a broader turnaround plan. While the divestment process is among the AI management agenda, what form it will take will be a corporate decision. AI MRO facilities are located in Delhi, Mumbai, Hyderabad, Tiruvananthapuram and Kolkata.

HBL





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