Boeing's Air India facility will be ready by next year

New Delhi, Dec 2 : National carrier Air India's maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) facility in Nagpur will become operational by next year, global aircraft manufacturer Boeing said Monday.

"The work is on track and it (MRO) should be ready by early next year," Pratyush Kumar, president, Boeing India, told IANS on the sidelines of the the ninth Indo-US Resurgence Summit held here.

The company earlier said the MRO facility will become operational by the second quarter of calendar year 2014, while the hand over of the facility to Air India and Boeing will be done by the end of this quarter or the next.

The facility will be handed over by Larsen and Toubro (L&T), who have been contracted to build it, after the commissioning of key facilities and equipments like water, electricity and pressurized systems.

After testing of the equipment by aviation regulator Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), clearance will be sought by Air India and Boeing for the facility to be fully operational.

The $100 million MRO project is part of an agreement between the national carrier and Boeing following a mega order for 737s and 787s Dreamliner which was placed by Air India in January 2006.

The MRO facility, spread over 50 acres next to the Nagpur airport, will have two hangars. It would offer maintenance and overhauling services to 300 aircraft a year. Both the hangars will have capacity to house three 737 aircraft each or one 777s or 747 each.

Air India plans to use the MRO facility as part of a separate profit-making subsidiary of the airline's engineering division - Air India Engineering Services Ltd. (AIESL), which was envisaged in the turnaround and financial restructure plan of the airline.

Nearly 7,000 employees of Air India have been assigned to shift to AIESL which the national carrier plans will handle the MRO facility for third-party work as well for generating extra revenues.

Apart from Air India's aircraft, the MRO facility will offer services to other carriers like Jet Airways and SpiceJet which are operating Boeing planes.

Apart from the MRO facility, Kumar added that his company is in the process of building capacity and capability of the Indian aviation sector and is closely working with education and training institutes as well.

"We have had a long and successful partnership with India. We have been in India creating sustainable, aviation ecosystem," Kumar said.

--IANS (Posted on 02-12-2013)

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