Credit: ST Engineering/MTU Maintenance/easyJet/Carolina GSE
Although the COVID-19 pandemic has dragged on through 2021, the impact on the aftermarket hasn’t stopped MROs, airlines and services providers from expanding their global footprint. A wide range of facilities opened or broke ground on construction during the summer of 2021 and several companies announced plans for future expansions.
British airline easyJet plans to begin construction of a new hangar facility in Berlin this month. The hangar at Berlin Brandenburg Willy Brandt Airport will be its first outside of the UK and easyJet is targeting an early 2023 opening. The airline plans to undertake light heavy maintenance checks at the facility, which will have space to accommodate up to four Airbus A321 aircraft simultaneously.
Credit: Direct Maintenance
Magnetic MRO subsidiary Direct Maintenance opened a new line station in Cologne, Germany in July. The station at Cologne-Bonn Airport—Direct Maintenance’s fourth in Germany—will cover line maintenance services for Boeing 747, 757, 767 and MD-11 aircraft. It eventually plans to expand service to include Airbus A320, A330, A350 and A380, Boeing 737 and 787, and Embraer 170 and 190 aircraft.
Credit: MTU Maintenance
MTU Maintenance broke ground in July on a new facility in Serbia, which will operate as MTU Maintenance Serbia. The facility will focus on repairs for commercial engine parts and hold capacity for around 400,000 repair hrs. annually. It plans to have the facility operating by late 2022.
The company also plans to establish a second facility in China called MTU Maintenance Zhuhai Jinwan Branch. The facility will focus on Pratt & Whitney narrowbody engines and is expected to be operational from 2024.
Estonian airline Xfly opened a new line maintenance station in June at Stockholm Arlanda Airport. It will primarily use the station’s capacity to maintain its own fleet, but Xfly plans to offer the service to other airlines in the future.
Xfly also plans to set up an additional line maintenance station in Vilnius, Lithuania later this year.
Credit: S7 Technics
Russian MRO S7 Technics signed agreements in early June to invest more than 3 billion rubles (about $41 million) in a new maintenance facility at St. Petersburg Pulkovo Airport. The 12,000 m2 maintenance center will be its fourth alongside bases in Moscow, Mineralnye Vody and Novosibirsk. S7 Technics plans to station 400 employees at the new base, which is expected to start operation in 2025. The station will service Airbus A320s, Boeing 737s, Superjet 100s and future MS-21 mid-range airliners.
Safran Aircraft Engines
Credit: Safran Aircraft Engines
Safran Aircraft Engines Brussels signed a long-term partnership agreement with Brussels Airport in June to construct a new building at Brucargo North, where it will develop its new maintenance activities. The new facility will focus on maintenance of the latest-generation LEAP-1A and LEAP 1-B engines, ranging from under-wing inspection to partial disassembly. Safran says the new facility will help it develop and modernize its global maintenance network to support growth of the LEAP fleet while also reducing carbon footprint of its operations and infrastructure.
Credit: GA Telesis
GA Telesis opened a newly-expanded Special Procedures Aeroengine Hospital shop (SPAH) in Helsinki, Finland in late June. The facility focuses on specialized aircraft engine repair requiring limited or targeted maintenance and also offers a mobile response team that provides engine field maintenance and on-wing support.
It recently announced a joint venture with Air Transport Services Group to build its second SPAH in the U.S. and is considering two other global expansion locations.
Credit: EirTrade Aviation
Aviation technical asset services and trading company EirTrade Aviation branched into North America in June with a new facility in Dallas Forth Worth, Texas. It says the new U.S. facility will enable it to store engine and aircraft parts in the Americas while reducing logistics times for its customers across the region. It also hopes the facility will help it grow its footprint in the U.S., Canada, Caribbean, Latin American and South American regions.
EirTrade also recently secured planning permission to construct a new hangar facility at Ireland West Airport Knock, where it is currently tearing down up to four aircraft per month. It says the new hangar facility will be large enough to facilitate Airbus A380 aircraft or multiple narrowbodies simultaneously.
Credit: APOC Aviation
APOC Aviation opened a new parts storage facility in Miami in mid-August as part of its plans to expand its global footprint. The site will predominantly house Boeing 737NG and Airbus A320 parts inventory and APOC says it may consider additional warehouses in other U.S. locations.
The company also recently confirmed plans to triple the size of its European facility in Amsterdam.
Credit: ST Engineering
ST Engineering broke ground in July on construction of a new hangar in Pensacola, Florida. The new hangar is part of a planned $210 million expansion, which will include development of a 655,000 ft.2 airframe MRO complex and three new hangars at Pensacola International Airport. The expansion is expected to be completed by 2024.
Dean Baldwin Painting
Credit: Dean Baldwin Painting
Dean Baldwin Painting opened its new Macon, Georgia facility in June. Located at Middle Georgia Regional Airport, the facility has four hangars designed for aircraft painting, a material warehouse, administration building, air filtration systems and a water treatment processing plant. Three of the hangars can accommodate aircraft up to the size of an Airbus A321 or Lockheed Martin C130J, and the fourth hangar can accommodate one Boeing 767 or C-17 aircraft. The facility welcomed its first aircraft for painting on June 17—a 767-300 freighter owned by Cargo Aircraft Management.
Credit: Carolina GSE
Carolina GSE recently announced plans to expand its shipping and distribution center in New Bern, North Carolina. The expansion—from 20,000 ft.2 to 40,000 ft.2—will create additional space for maintenance and shipping of aviation equipment, as well as the installation of powder coat and blasting booth equipment. It will also increase Carolina GSE’s inventory and storage capacity. The project, which is being funded through a grant awarded under the North Carolina Department of Commerce Building Reuse Program, will also entail hiring 28 new employees at the facility, including service technicians, field service technicians and powder coat technicians.
Israel Aerospace Industries
Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) is boosting its global passenger-to-freighter (PTF) conversion capabilities with plans for new cargo conversion sites in Africa and Europe. It signed a deal in July with Italian MRO Atitech to establish a PTF conversion site for Boeing 737-700/-800 aircraft in Naples, Italy. The site will be IAI’s first in Europe.
In August, IAI confirmed plans to establish a PTF conversion site in Ethiopia for 767-300 aircraft at Ethiopian Airlines’ maintenance facility in Addis Ababa. IAI plans to eventually expand the conversion center’s services to other airlines in Africa and the wider region.
New Australian MRO Facility
Credit: Alliance Airlines
Queensland, Australia’s treasurer and minister for investment, Cameron Dick, recently announced that a new $60 million MRO facility will be constructed at the Rockhampton Airport. Dick says Alliance Airlines will establish the facility to maintain its growing fleet of aircraft that currently needs to be maintained overseas. The airline’s fleet of Fokker and Embraer aircraft will grow from 43 to 75 in the next year, so the facility will add 98 new jobs by 2024 to support services.
A look at new aftermarket facilities around the world that opened or broke ground during summer 2021—as well as recently announced plans for new facilities.
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.