New Korean MRO Joint Venture Targets Cargo Growth

Credit: Sharp Technics K

Incheon International Airport’s MRO cluster will continue to grow its capabilities for cargo aircraft through a new joint venture between Atlas Air and South Korean MRO Sharp Technics K. The two companies have signed a memorandum of agreement to develop a dedicated MRO facility at the airport, which is expected to open in 2025.

“The facility at Incheon Airport will be able to accommodate multiple widebody aircraft at the same time, enabling the facility to contribute to the growth of airfreight and e-commerce on a global scale as [the airport] expands its role in the MRO aviation industry,” says Soon-Suk Paik, president, Sharp Technics K.

Atlas Air, which performs a mix of cargo and large-group passenger charter flights, operates multiple 747-400 freighters for Asiana Cargo that connect South Korea with several destinations in the U.S.

“Incheon International Airport is a key airport for us in our global network as we serve customers around the world,” says John Dietrich, president and CEO, Atlas Air Worldwide. “Our partnership with Sharp Technics K will enable us to further streamline maintenance planning with their integrated approach to servicing our fleet.”

According to Kyung-Woon Kim, president of Incheon International Airport Corporation, the airport is focused on cultivating the air cargo industry. “This development will serve as a cornerstone for new growth as we strengthen Korea’s competitive position in serving the worldwide aviation MRO industry,” he says.

Earlier this year, Israel Aerospace Industries partnered with the airport and Sharp Technics K to establish a new passenger-to-freighter conversion center. The facility, which is expected to be operational in 2024, will specifically focus on 777-200ER and 777-300ER modifications.

Atlas Air is not disclosing whether its joint venture with Sharp Technics K will tie in with the upcoming passenger-to-freighter conversion center. It also declined to comment on whether Sharp Technics K currently provides maintenance services for its aircraft in South Korea.

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.