BAE Systems sees growing Avro MRO demand in Canada

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Canadian charter operator Summit Air has opted to maintain components on its BAE Systems Avro RJ85 regional jets via the manufacturer’s aftermarket arm.

The Yellowknife-based carrier – which specialises in flights to remote locations – has acquired two Avros, the first of which is to join its fleet in September. The 90-seat aircraft will be used to fly workers from Edmonton to the Diavik diamond mining complex around 300km (190mi) north of Yellowknife.

Summit Air has signed a two-year by-the-hour contract covering support of around 450 rotable components, including avionics, landing-gear parts and windscreens, says BAE Systems Regional Aircraft.

Aside from equipment repairs, the deal covers provision of replacement components, logistic services, and a spare-parts kit at Edmonton airport.

While the contract is “initially” set to expire in December 2016, the Prestwick-based aftermarket company says it is open to “contract extensions as Summit Air’s plans mature in respect of potential fleet growth”.

BAE Systems plans to continue its flight hour-based support programme until “at least 2018”, it says.

Avro operators such as Irish carrier CityJet are aiming to retire the four-engined regional jet as powerplant manufacturer Honeywell is terminating its by-the-hour maintenance programme for the type.

However, as there is “growing interest” from Canadian operators, BAE Systems has extended its approval to support RJ85s and RJ100s under the rule of the country’s civil aviation authority TCCA, the manufacturer says.

Avros and its predecessor model the BAe 146 are used as firefighting aircraft in Canada and the USA.