SmartLynx Airlines To Set Up In-house Line Maintenance Center

SmartLynx Airbus narrowbody freighter.

Latvian full-service charter specialist SmartLynx Airlines is establishing an in-house line maintenance center, the airline announced.

The new subsidiary, dubbed SmartLynx Technik, is expected to start operations by yearend working from bases in Riga, Latvia and Tallinn, Estonia.

The company plans to start with fewer than 20 employees but will grow if required, a company spokesperson told Aviation Week.

Company representatives recently attended a job fair in Istanbul to recruit technicians.

“It was the first in-person recruitment event since the pandemic,” SmartLynx VP Technical Rob Woods said.

SmartLynx wants the new organization to obtain EASA Part-145 approval for the Airbus A320 and A330s. SmartLynx operates a total of 35, including five A330 converted freighters and a mix of A320s and A321s in passenger and cargo configurations.

“SmartLynx Technic will allow for greater control as we will be able to get line maintenance services in-house,” said SmartLynx Airlines CEO Zygimantas Surintas.

The new operation will be able to support aircraft recovery or subcontracting work throughout Europe. It also will consider third-party work.

SmartLynx Airlines is recovering from the downturn, having operated more than 5,500 flights in the three-month period ended Sept. 30. It provided passenger and cargo ACMI services for DHL, Volotea, and Royal Air Maroc. It also operated summer charters for TUI Deutschland to tourist destinations around the Mediterranean and Canary Islands.

In October, SmartLynx Airlines started non-stop flights between Berlin and Dubai in partnership with FTI Group, the third largest tour operator in Europe.

SmartLynx Airlines recently introduced a new maintenance control center with EASA licensed, type rated A320 and A330 engineers in Malta, where it has an operational base. This operation will not be incorporated into SmartLynx Technic but rather will remain part of the airline's Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization, the spokesperson said.

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.