Illinois-based aircraft maintenance firm AAR has secured the first customer for its Duluth maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility.
AAR completed and delivered the first aircraft to undergo maintenance at its 188,000 square ft (17,465 sq m) facility on Friday. One line of maintenance is running, and the MRO expects to open a second line during the third quarter of the 2013 fiscal year ending 31 May. The maintenance company told Flightglobal in October that it planned to be at full capacity with four narrowbody maintenance lines by the end of 2013.
AAR has not announced the launch customer for the maintenance facility, which was formerly used by Northwest Airlines.
The maintenance facility has signed a letter of intent with Air Canada for a five-year deal to maintain 89 Airbus A320 aircraft until 2017 and said that work would eventually be moved from Miami to Duluth by October 2013.
AAR says it now employs more than 100 staff in Duluth and expects the facility to create 225 jobs at full capacity.
AAR opened the Duluth facility on 15 October. It has additional maintenance stations in Miami, Indianapolis, Oklahoma City and Hot Springs, Arkansas. It also has component repair shops in Garden City, New York and Amsterdam.
AAR today reported a net income of $17.8 million in the second quarter ending 30 November, up from $17.6 million in the same period a year earlier. Operating income was $37.8 million with a 7.4% margin in the quarter, compared with $34.3 million with a margin of 7.1% in the second quarter of 2011.
Citing a better-than-expected second quarter, the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company increased its earnings guidance for fiscal 2013 to a range of $1.70 to $1.80 per share, compared with $1.60 to $1.70 per share. AAR says it forecasts profitability improvements for the rest of the fiscal year.