IndiGo Expands Maintenance Capabilities To Bangalore
Indian low-cost carrier IndiGo is set to open a new maintenance hangar at Bangalore’s Kempe Gowda International airport.
The facility, which has a volume of around 218,000 ft.², will have capacity for narrowbody aircraft and house a single bay catering for widebody aircraft.
IndiGo says the construction work is almost nearing completion and will be fully operational by the end of 2022. The airline is taking the space for the hangar on lease from the airport.
The Bangalore facility will be IndiGo’s second in India, with its first being in operation at Delhi’s Indira Gandhi International Airport.
Once fully functioning, the hangar will be equipped for C checks on Airbus A320/A321 aircraft and ATR regional aircraft. Other services will include engine changes, landing gear changes, support shops for C checks, a paint shop, engine storage and a QEC shop, and warehousing training.
IndiGo says its fleet requires around 100 C checks per year, which are typically outsourced to other MROs across India and abroad. With this new facility getting commissioned, IndiGo says it will be able to carry out C checks in-house, which will add cost efficiencies to its operations.
“Up until now, all of IndiGo’s base maintenance activity was focused on Delhi, but for an airline of our size we need to increase our operational flexibility,” says Amrish Agarwal, associate vice president of engineering and project lead for developing engineering infrastructure at IndiGo. “Bangalore International Airport as an airport operator has been very forthcoming in supporting the hangar facility,” he adds.
IndiGo plans to employ about 150 skilled technicians and engineers once the hangar becomes operational at its full capacity. “Once the hangar is at its full capability, we plan to get EASA approval, but that is in the next phase,” says Agarwal.
Bangalore is IndiGo’s second largest operating base, with about 150 departures scheduled per day and night halts for 37 aircraft. With a new airport terminal opening soon, additional passenger handling capacity will be available.
“The hangar location is ideal for many reasons," adds Agarwal. “It is right next to the airport operational area. Aircraft movement from the departure bay to the hangar is very easy and convenient. [Bangalore International Airport] has built an engine high power run-up bay on the adjacent plot, which again is very convenient for maintenance purposes.
On India’s long-term MRO outlook, Agarwal says the carrier is upbeat about growing international interest in the Indian aviation market. “We have always encouraged MROs in India, however, these MROs need to have the right capability and capacity, which as of now is a bit of concern,” he says. “The Indian government is very encouraging on many fronts, but still, there are multiple issues which need to be addressed in totality to reap the benefits of a mature MRO ecosystem similar to the one in Singapore.”