Malaysia Airlines’ maintenance arm, MAS Aerospace Engineering (MAE), won a contract from Virgin Australia and appears set to add KLM as a Boeing 747-400 heavy maintenance customer.

At the LIMA Airshow in Langkawi, Malaysia, today, Virgin Australia signed a firm contract giving MAE heavy check work on 14 of its Boeing 737-700/-800s through 2012.

These are aircraft that Virgin Australia is returning to lessors, says MAE CEO Roslan Ismail. That these aircraft are being returned to lessors means MAE may also have an opportunity to perform modification and further maintenance work for the next lessee, he says.

Separately, KLM signed a letter of intent at the show to give MAE heavy maintenance work on three of the airline’s Boeing 747-400s, says Roslan. This will be the first time the company will perform heavy checks on KLM 747-400s, says MAE Sales and Marketing Manager Syahril Shariff.