Saudia Aerospace Engineering Industries (SAEI) is constructing a 12-bay hangar scheduled to open in the first quarter of 2016 that will provide the capacity the MRO needs to grow its third-party maintenance business.

By 2017 or 2018, the MRO in Jeddah is hoping to achieve revenue increases of 40% as it sells its services to Middle East and North Africa civil operators, says Ribhi Al-Husseini, director of technical sales and marketing.

SAEI, which sold a 30% stake to Saudi company Tarabut in 2013, currently only generates about 5% of its business from third parties. However, the company is space constrained by a hangar that accommodates two widebodies plus a shelter that covers two narrowbodies, says Al-Husseini.

The new 1 million-sq.-meter (10,760,000-sq.-ft.) facility at King Abdulaziz International Airport in Jeddah will also house component repair shops and an engine and auxiliary power overhaul center. The engine test cell will have a maximum engine thrust capacity of 150,000 lb.

SAEI can service the Airbus A320 and A330; Boeing 777, 747 and MD-11F; and Embraer 170. It plans to add 737NG and 787 services. Engine capabilities include GE CF34 and CF6-80C2; CFM56-5B; and Rolls-Royce RB211. By 2016, it plans to offer GE90 overhaul capability. Other new services could be added after the facility opens.

SAEI, which was the maintenance and engineering division of Saudi Arabian Airlines until it was spun off into a private company in 2009, plans to expand its 5,300-employee staff to 7,500 by 2017-18, says Al-Husseini. The MRO’s internal training facility graduates about 200 technicians annually, and by 2017 that number could increase to 450-500 as the business grows, he says.

Saudi Arabian Airlines operates 114 jets, plus some wet-leased aircraft, to 78 destinations.