Deccan, previously called Air Deccan, and Kingfisher Airlines have decided to set up a joint maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility with a foreign partner fueling competition in this sector. The facility would take care of their own requirement as well as for third party maintenance for other airlines in the world.
Deccan Aviation executive chairman Captain G R Gopinath announced this during the rebranding ceremony of Deccan in Mumbai on Sunday.
“Deccan and Kingfisher Airlines will jointly set up a MRO. We want Lufthansa and British Airways to send their aircraft to our MRO so that India can emerge as the aviation capital of the world,” said captain Gopinath.
The MRO is expected to come up at Bangalore by next year. The quantum of investment is yet to be finalised but the MRO will have hangers at multiple destinations.
“We are looking for an ideal partner and discussions are at an advanced stage. The MRO will be a separate company and all the maintenance assets of Deccan and Kingfisher will be spun up into the new entity,” said Nick White, deputy COO, Technical, Deccan.
Deccan has hangers at Chennai and Kolkota airports while Kingfisher’s maintenance facility is located at Bangalore. There is also space available at the green field airport coming up at Bangalore. The proposed MRO is expected to have assets at the all these locations.
“Globally, most MROs don’t have one location. Deccan and Kingfisher will generate assured business for the MRO and the opportunities from third party maintenance are great,” White said.
Kingfisher Airlines has a MoU with Abu Dhabi based Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (Gamco) to set up a MRO and the company may be roped in to this new venture. But several others are in the race.
With another 100 aircraft added to the existing Deccan-Kingfisher combined fleet strength of 75 aircraft, both the airlines are heading to make Bangalore their hub. This is similar to Singapore Airlines, British Airways, Lufthansa and Emirates forming globally successful aviation hubs at Singapore, Heathrow, Frankfort and Dubai respectively. The MRO at Bangalore perfectly suits the scheme of things.