A J Walter sees ready demand for new component facility

Washington DC
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A J Walter Aviation is in negotiations for component repair deals on "some very significant fleet sizes" of Airbus aircraft in the Americas, says its president Christopher Whiteside.

"We're hoping to sign this year at least 100 A320s in North America, and South America and Central America," Whiteside says.

The work will be done at the newly-formed AJ Walter Technique component maintenance, repair and overhaul facility in Montreal, which will be operational by early 2013. Whiteside says that it already has "significant internal demand" for repair work through its own component agreements with customers.

The company acquired the business through bankruptcy after insolvent Aveos closed down on 19 March.

Aveos was only operating the component maintenance business for a little more than a year when it shut down. A J Walter Aviation had a chance to service the more than 1,000 components from Air Canada in conjunction with restarting the component business. However, Whiteside says the company declined the opportunity because it did not want the component maintenance work to be a condition of acquiring the facility.

A J Walter Technique is open to working with Air Canada and other operators through standalone contracts in the future if they are mutually profitable for both parties, says Whiteside. However, this would be done after it takes a close look at its internal processes and efficiency drivers.

The MRO's growth strategy will focus on refining its component repair capabilities to those that have the highest demand for customers and are the most commercially advantageous for the company.

"We intend to make investments to very much enhance the V2500-A5 capability for the A320 model, which will be a strong growth strategy," he says.

The company is open to expanding its component repair capabilities to other models down the line, with the Boeing 777 being the most likely candidate in the MRO's first few years in operation.

Apart from repairs, A J Walter's business is also built on providing part supply, exchange and leasing of aircraft parts as well as pooling and leasing for these components. The repairs will largely support these activities,

The Montreal component facility is AJ Walter's first foray into offering repair services under its own name and will serve as its global headquarters for repairs. Until this point the company has been using a network of more than 50 repair shops, which will continue to be a part of the company's maintenance strategy to supplement its own capability.