United Awards Narrowbody Airframe MRO Contract

Credit: Robert Alexander / Getty Images

CHICAGO—United Airlines has awarded a narrowbody aircraft maintenance contract to AAR, which will perform the work at its facility in Rockford, Illinois.

AAR expects to receive United’s first aircraft in June. While neither company specified how many aircraft or exactly which ones are included in the contract, they did say that “United will select a mix of narrowbody aircraft, with the initial focus on 737 maintenance visits.”

The companies did not disclose the value of this multi-year contract.

AAR performs other MRO work for United, including additional airframe maintenance and parts supply.

AAR currently employs 150 people at its Rockford facility, which is west of Chicago, but it plans to add 250 additional staff there as it ramps up its operation over the next couple of years. “Recruitment efforts have begun already and are ongoing,” an AAR spokeswoman said.

AAR opened the 238,000 ft.² facility in Rockford for widebody maintenance in 2016, but it had a difficult time getting a steady stream of twin-aisle work. The MRO says it is now focusing on narrowbody aircraft MRO instead.

The two 10-story hangar bays can accommodate two widebody Boeing 747s, four 787s or one Airbus A380—or eight narrowbody 737 or A320s.

Lee Ann Shay

As executive editor of MRO and business aviation, Lee Ann Shay directs Aviation Week's coverage of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), including Inside MRO, and business aviation, including BCA.