IAI, Aviatic To Build MRO Center In Lithuania For 2022

The new facility is scheduled for a 2022 opening and brings further MRO capacity to the Eastern European region.
Credit: Israel Aerospace Industries

Israel Aerospace Industries (IAI) has signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with MRO provider Aviatic to establish a maintenance facility in Siauliai, Lithuania.

Under the MOU, the new center will operate as Aviatic MRO and will primarily offer aircraft maintenance and overhaul services, the conversion of Boeing 737NG passenger aircraft into cargo configuration, and the training, certification, and licensing of personnel. 

Both parties, which are targeting a 2022 opening at Siauliai’s airport, say Aviatic will run the maintenance center and will oversee dialogue with Lithuanian aviation regulators, including planning and infrastructure development.

Aviation Week has contacted IAI to ask for job creation targets at the new MRO center.

Siauliai is Lithuania’s fourth largest city by population and is in the north of the country. Aviatic already operates a line maintenance service at Siauliai International Airport, in addition to sites at Vilnius and Kaunas. The airport is owned by the Lithuanian Army and Aviatic says it is ensuring the infrastructure will be in place for the construction of the facility.

The location for the center played a role in the signing of the MOU, according to Yossi Melamed, IAI EVP and general manager of Aviation Group, which has oversight of the company’s aircraft MRO, design and manufacture of jet aircraft, passenger-to-freighter conversions, avionic assemblies and structures, and aircraft refurbishment activities.

“The new center will create a professional and commercial anchor for aircraft maintenance in Lithuania," Melamed says. “It is strategically located near some of the busiest air transport hubs in the world.” 

As well as giving it an MRO foothold in Eastern Europe, the new center signals the further growth of IAI’s passenger-to-freighter capacity outside of Israel. Last year, IAI entered a joint venture with lessor GECAS focusing on a 777-300ER PTF program, which is to be marketed as the 777-300ERSF.

James Pozzi

As Aviation Week's MRO Editor EMEA, James Pozzi covers the latest industry news from the European region and beyond. He also writes in-depth features on the commercial aftermarket for Inside MRO.