Ural Airlines to expand in-house maintenance capabilities
Russia’s Ural Airlines has announced plans to expand its in-house maintenance capabilities. The airline is getting ready to start construction of additional facilities for its Yekaterinburg-based Aviation Maintenance Center, Matvey Kolotursky, head of the airline’s technical procurement department told Russian Aviation Insider.
“By the end of 2018 – just in time for the airline’s 25th anniversary – the new facilities should be unveiled. This includes a wheel and braking system repair facility, composite part repair facility, seat and interior component repair facility, new warehouses and production facilities,” he said. Part of the project is obtaining EASA approval extensions for the maintenance center.
The new production facilities will be located in the vicinity of the main hangar, which became operational in 2015 and has been used for maintenance purposes since then.
Commenting on the center’s last year operational results the airline pointed out that the volumes of operations increased, including the number of heavy (6- and 12-year) checks at the airline’s base Koltsovo Airport in Yekaterinburg. “This year, besides the heavy checks, we are completing the massive engine replacement for overhaul effort. We have also performed a large number of gear strut replacements as scheduled overhaul,” Matvey Kolotursky says. There is also an ongoing program for cabin interior refurbishment, including fitting the cabins with new lighter seats.
Ural Airlines operates a fleet composed of Airbus A320-family aircraft only, so the maintenance center is approved for these types only. When slots open, the airline offers its capacities to other operators for “competitive prices.” For instance, at present the center is providing maintenance on one of Red Wings’ aircraft.
Besides the main base in Yekaterinurg, Ural Airlines has another base at Moscow’s Domodedovo airport and two smaller stations in Samara and Chelyabinsk. The airline said it was constantly considering other opportunities as well, but so far no decisions have been made, since commercial viability is the main factor for such move.
Ural Airlines earlier also considered receiving approvals for Boeing 737 maintenance. However the airline is still researching the issue and negotiating with possible lessors. These capabilities will only be added if the airline takes delivery of Boeing 737MAX, the carrier assured.
By Tatyana Volodina
Russian Aviation Insider
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