S7 Technics To Open Maintenance Center In St Petersburg

The Russian MRO plans to invest around $41 million in the new facility.
Credit: S7 Technics

One of the largest Russian MRO providers, S7 Technics, will open a new maintenance facility in St Petersburg Pulkovo airport (LED).

According to the agreements signed by S7 Technics, Pulkovo and St Petersburg authorities on June 3, the new 12,000-sq.-meter facility is expected to start operation in 2025. The provider plans to invest over 3 billion rubles (about $41 million) into the project and to station 400 employees at the new base. 

It will become the fourth maintenance center for S7 Technics in addition to its bases in Moscow, Mineralnye Vody and Novosibirsk. The company also has two line maintenance stations in Irkutsk and Vladivostok.

“Russia lacks aircraft maintenance facilities, we see the strong demand for periodic maintenance from the Russian carriers even in the pandemic period,” S7 Technics CEO Vladimir Perekrestov said. 

Another reason is the open sky regime in Pulkovo that was introduced from January 2020. Foreign airlines from 30 countries can now enjoy seventh freedom of the air which means they can fly to St Petersburg from destinations other than their home countries.

While Pulkovo expects to attract more airlines and passengers into Russia’s second largest city and former capital, S7 Technics waits for growing demand for maintenance services. “The European low-cost carriers that plan to fly to St Petersburg are our potential customers as they have no bases for periodic maintenance [there],” Perekrestov said.

Russia has limited air connection with foreign countries in 2020 due to the pandemic restrictions, but before the lockdown, the country’s transport ministry reported that several European carriers including the largest low-cost airlines like Wizz Air, Ryanair and EasyJet had expressed interest to fly to St Petersburg.

According to Perekrestov, S7 Technics will service Airbus A320s and Boeing 737 narrowbodies as well as Russian-made Superjet 100 regional jet and future MS-21 mid-range airliners in St Petersburg.

It will also make structural repairs, engineering and modifications under EASA Part21J and manufacture aircraft interior part under EASA Part-21G certificate. “We plan to perform 35-40 heavy checks and about 200 light maintenance checks annually there,” he explained.

The new facility will increase maintenance capacity by 25-30%, the company’s official explained to Aviation Week. He said that the St Petersburg hangar will have two lines for periodic maintenance and one line for the light checks. S7 Technics now operates ten lines for reported maintenance on all its bases.

The provider made 413 A checks and 84 C checks in 2020, which was more or less at the same level as in the previous year. It had to adapt to lower demand for line maintenance due to pandemic flight restrictions.

Instead, it focused on providing engineering support services, redelivery checks and engine repairs. S7 Technics predicts the growth of the MRO industry can restart in 2022.

Maxim Pyadushkin

In addition to writing for Aviation Week Network, Maxim holds a key position at Russia's Air Transport Observer magazine. In the past he was in charge of several ATO’s sister aerospace publications and earlier worked for Moscow-based CAST defense think-tank.