Eyeing around $1.2 billion business, state-run Air India plans to set up a landing gears MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) facility as a joint venture in the Nagpur aviation hub for the Airbus and Boeing fleet.
The airline is scouting for an investment partner, who can bring in around $60 million, and also technical expertise, to develop a state-of the-art facility. The MRO will be run by the airlines’ engineering arm, Air India Engineering Services in Nagpur, an airline source told PTI here.
The airline expects to carry out third party business as well and looks at netting around $1.2 billion in annual revenue, the source said.
Air India Engineering Services has recently invited expressions of interest from prospective parties, which will be followed by floating of bids, the source added.
The government-run carrier, which is now a part of the 28-member global airlines elite club StarAlliance, foresees tremendous business potential for the project, as the country with around 400 planes in operations at present does not have any full-fledged MRO facility, forcing airlines to get their work done from Singapore, Dubai or even in Colombo.
The airline is hopeful that the proposed facility will generate good business once it goes functional within the next two years, the airline source said.
Air India Engineering Services has a DGCA-approved facility in Mumbai. But this can handle only the landing gears of some of its Boeing fleet. Out of the 108 aircraft that AI has, 38 are of Boeing make and 62 are from Airbus and the rest are from regional jets.
“At present, there is no MRO facility for fully overhauling repairing the landing gears in the country, whereas there are about 400 aircraft of different models of Airbus and Boeing family, which provides an enormous business potential for such an MRO,” the source said adding that the landing gears of most of these aircraft will have to be overhauled from 2017.
Air India aims to set up the proposed MRO on the international industry benchmark and having approvals from overseas aviation agencies.