AMAC Aerospace makes first foray into widebody maintenance

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Swiss business aviation completions specialist AMAC Aerospace is expanding into widebody VIP airliner maintenance from early next year as it seeks to take advantage of a gap in the market for servicing and support of top-end business aircraft. To reinforce its commitment to this niche sector, AMAC has built an 8,200m² (88,150ft²) hangar at its Basel headquarters, which can accommodate aircraft as large as the Boeing 747-8I, 777 and Airbus A340.

The structure was inaugurated on 14 September and is the third hangar at AMAC's Euroairport base. "People spend millions of dollars on an aircraft and when it requires maintenance they take it to a commercial MRO provider [such as Lufthansa Technik]," says AMAC chief executive Kadri Muhiddin. "We are planning to offer a specialist maintenance service dedicated to VIP airliners for which we anticipate plenty of demand," he adds.

AMAC has already secured European Part 145 approval to undertake heavy base maintenance on the 777 and the A330/A340 series. The four-year-old company is also expecting to receive 747-400/747-8I approval this year.

Muhiddin says its business aircraft completions segment continues to thrive, although it has had a clutch of cancellations. "The market isn't as strong as it was a year ago," he says. Despite this "we have done phenomenally well in winning completion, refurbishment and maintenance contracts to the point that we have a secure and stable workload until 2014 and at present we are in dialogue for work beyond 2014" he adds. The inauguration of the new Basel facility comes just one week after AMAC launched a 1,500m² hangar at Istanbul's Ataturk airport, where from January 2013 it will be providing maintenance support for the Pilatus PC-12NG single-engined turboprop.

Pilatus appointed AMAC as a fully authorised and exclusive sales distributor in the Middle East at the beginning of 2012. Its territory covers Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Yemen, Kuwait, Iraq, Bahrain, Qatar, Syria, Jordan, Lebanon, Egypt and Turkey.