Aspire MRO Launches Widebody Maintenance, PTF Services

Credit: Aspire MRO

A new Part 145 repair station with aspirations of becoming a key player in widebody MRO has begun operations in Fort Worth, Texas. Aspire MRO launched heavy maintenance and passenger-to-freighter (PTF) conversions for widebody aircraft on Aug. 15.

Aspire MRO will operate out of the 840,000 ft.2 former GDC Technics facility at Fort Worth Alliance Airport, which was vacated in May 2021 following the company’s filing for bankruptcy. It plans to operate six bays for heavy widebody maintenance and Boeing 777 PTF conversions.

According to President and CEO Phil Bathurst, Aspire MRO has “a strong backlog of work” and he expects it to become “the pre-eminent MRO providing conversion and maintenance services to widebody aircraft in North America.” The new MRO has already secured a long-term contract to perform PTF conversions and MRO work for Mammoth Freighters, and its freighter conversion backlog extends past 2026. Aspire MRO is also in talks with a long-haul operator for widebody heavy maintenance and it has additional capacity to support other global operators.

Although Mammoth Freighters announced a partnership in Sept. 2021 with GDC Technics at the site for MRO support on its 777-200LR and -300ER freighter conversions, Aspire MRO is not a spin-off of the modifications and engineering provider. According to Brant Wahlman, vice president of business development at Aspire MRO, the new Part 145 provider has an entirely new management team, business plan and ownership structure. In addition to Bathurst, who previously held executive level maintenance and operations roles at companies such as EmpowerMX, Embraer and ATS, Aspire MRO’s leadership team includes staff that joined the MRO following roles at companies such as StandardAero, Frontier Airlines, AAR and Commercial Jet. It is backed by investment funds managed by affiliates of Fortress Investment Group LLC.

Aspire MRO holds Part 145 approvals from the FAA, European Union Aviation Safety Agency, India’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation and Saudi Arabia’s General Authority of Civil Aviation. It currently has approximately 145 employees and Wahlman says it plans to hire around 300 more over the next two years.

Lindsay Bjerregaard

Lindsay Bjerregaard is managing editor for Aviation Week’s MRO portfolio. Her coverage focuses on MRO technology, workforce, and product and service news for, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.