FEAM Banks On Regional Aircraft, Freighter MRO During Downturn

FEAM'S new hangar at CVG
Credit: FEAM

FEAM continues to grow its maintenance footprint during the novel coronavirus pandemic through focus on freighter operations and new facilities, staff and aircraft platforms. The MRO says it has worked to expand and develop new relationships within the freighter and regional segments in the months leading up to the COVID-19 crisis, which has been the basis behind much of its recent growth.

“These developments have allowed FEAM to reallocate our technicians supporting the commercial passenger customers that were significantly affected by the crisis and placing them directly into our expanding freighter and regional operations,” says Scott Diaz, director of business development for the Americas at FEAM. “As a result, FEAM has prevented wide-scale layoffs, generated new opportunities for our current workforce and is still hiring technicians and related personnel at several line locations within our expanding network.”

The latest growth is happening at Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD), where FEAM has signed a new agreement with Air Wisconsin Airlines to become its line maintenance service provider at the carrier’s largest hub. The three-year contract is FEAM’s first with the regional airline and adds the Bombardier CRJ to its aircraft platform capabilities. Air Wisconsin Airlines operates more than 60 CRJ200 aircraft according to Aviation Week’s Fleet Discovery data.

FEAM's new CVG hangar
FEAM's new widebody hangar at Cincinnati International Airport.

FEAM performed its first service check for Air Wisconsin at ORD on May 16 and has added 15 A&P technician positions to support the airline. Diaz says FEAM is looking to increase staff further for the summer peak and hopes to hire 30 additional technicians to complete full support, although this may vary depending on industry recovery scenarios. However, he adds that FEAM has a “high degree of confidence that initial recovery will positively affect regional airline operations.”

The MRO also just opened a new line station at Alliance-Fort Worth Airport (AFW) in May, which is its third line maintenance station in Texas. Diaz says FEAM created 15 new positions at AFW to support “the significant and growing presence of freighter operations” at the airport and its technicians will provide “scheduled maintenance support for several transiting and long-ground time aircraft.” It will start performing A-checks at the station in July.

FEAM opened a new widebody hangar at Cincinnati International Airport in January and it is in the final phase of its upgrade and build-out of a narrowbody hangar at Miami International Airport. It also plans to open two additional line maintenance stations to support its new cargo operator partners at Richmond International Airport and Lakeland Linder International Airport.

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 AviationWeek.com, Aviation Week Marketplace and Inside MRO.