The Irish low cost carrier Ryanair is expanding its MRO base in Lithuania. Europe’s biggest LCC is planning to invest up to €250,000 into its Lithuanian maintenance unit called Kaunas Aircraft Maintenance Services (KAMS), located at Kaunas International Airport.
According to KAMS’s accountable manager, Karolis Čepukas, the investment will provide funds for opening additional workshops for aircraft components. “We are opening workshops for repairing aircraft airstairs, filling oxygen cylinders, and working on metal and composite parts. In addition, we will be hiring more aircraft airframe technicians,” he said. The MRO provider may hire as many as 140 new technicians, a 30% increase over the currently employed staff.
According to Čepukas, KAMS’s business has been enjoying steady growth this year, and the company expects its turnover to increase 20 % at the end of the year. He explained that the growth is related to the continued expansion of Ryanair’s fleet. With the upward trend expected to continue, KAMS is making plans to build additional hangars for cabin refurbishments and other maintenance activities at Kaunas.
The current project is linked to a recent reform in Lithuania’s higher education standards, initiated by the industry and supported by Invest Lithuania. “Aviation companies operating in the Kaunas region will provide Aviation Engineering students at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) with the opportunity to accumulate more practical experience during their studies,” a spokesperson for KAMS explained. More specifically, the scheme offers third-year students a one-year internship at one of the MRO providers involved in the program. This guarantees that the students will have at least one year hands-on experience at graduation. Since higher education is partly funded by Lithuanian government, this program will help MRO providers in the region decrease their staff training costs and will foster the industry’s rapid development.
Lithuania is looking to further advance its educational standards in line with EASA requirements and eventually have curriculum certified by European authorities as compliant with EASA standards.
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