UTG Maintenance & Engineering ( UTG M&E ), the aircraft maintenance division of Russian ground handling services provider UTG Aviation Services, grew its operational performance with a 21 per cent improvement last year compared to 2018, reaching 409,000 man-hours. Its Moscow, Vnukovo airport base performed 165 A-checks and five C-checks, whilst 95 A-checks were performed last year at Domodedovo, another capital city base.
The results are somewhat less than the originally targeted 450,000 man-hours, a short fall which is attributed to a number of factors in the industry, including the grounding of the Boeing 737 MAX fleet. However, the company still secured approval from the Bermuda authorities for MAX line maintenance, with A- and B-checks to be carried out at Vnukovo, Domodedovo and St Petersburg’s Pulkovo airports.
In 2019 UTG M&E won new customers Yakutia Airlines and Ellinair (Greece) for line-maintenance. It also inked contracts with Pobeda Airlines, Russia’s only low-cost carrier (LCC), for maintenance at Pulkovo and Vnukovo airports.
In the meantime, the MRO provider has put its plans for launching Sochi and Simferopol bases on hold. With demand comfortably going up at Vnukovo and Domodedovo, the company has decided instead to concentrate on growing its business at these capital city stations in 2020, rather than developing its business at the airports serving the Black Sea resorts. UTG M&E’s priority objective for this year is to focus on its heavy maintenance work and win new customers. As an example, in response to the growing demand, the company is planning to secure an approval for C-checks on Airbus A320neos.
In January this year UTG Maintenance & Engineering completed its first ever C-Check at Domodedovo on Smartavia’s Boeing 737-700. In February it also won a tender for Pobeda’s Boeing 737-800 maintenance and has scheduled to start works on the first four aircraft in March and the Vnukovo station has completed a second C-check for Yakutia. Utair Airlines has selected UTG M&E as its base maintenance provider and has already placed one of its Boeing 737-500s for a C-check with the company. The near-term plans also include three consecutive C-checks at Vnukovo on Airbus A321s operated by Red Wings.
With its Vnukovo heavy maintenance business enjoying steady growth, UTG M&E plans to expand its hangar area at the airport by 3,000 sq m by renting an additional hangar section.
The prospects and challenges facing Russia’s and CIS’ MRO industry will be discussed and thoroughly explored at the MRO Russia & CIS 2020 conference and exhibition, the 15th iteration of the largest annual event in Eastern Europe and Central Asia that is focused solely on covering the crucial issues of the fast-developing and restructuring MRO services for the region’s air transport industry
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