Embraer plans more MRO capacity in America

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Embraer is to open a new customer care centre in June while seeing potential for expanding its partnerships with maintenance providers in the Americas and Africa.

The new facility at its headquarters in São José dos Campos, Brazil will be a point of contact for international operators to arrange flight operational, technical and material support.

It will offer a "major enhancement" in the manufacturer's service levels, says Luiz Hamilton Lima, vice-president services and support, commercial aviation.

Embraer currently provides technical support to its customers through a network of 26 maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) providers around the world.

While 11 of these companies have been approved by the airframer as authorised service centres, the majority are independent MRO companies with no formal affiliation with the manufacturer.

Embraer says it wants to continue using this hybrid system of accredited and independent maintenance providers in the future. The strategy is to work with "any" MRO company, but not to establish firm relationships, where the manufacturer has to guarantee, for example, certain work volumes, Embraer adds.

While Europe is "well covered" in terms of MRO partnerships, Hamilton Lima says the manufacturer wants to extend its network in South, Central and "maybe" also North America, as well as Africa.

TAP Maintenance & Engineering's base in Porto Alegre, Brazil is the company's only authorised repair centre in Latin America, aside from its production facilities in São José, where aftermarket work is also provided.

ST Aerospace conducts Embraer 190 airframe maintenance independently at its campus on the former Howard AFB, Panama.

In the US, Embraer has a service centre for commercial aircraft in Nashville, Tennessee.

South Africa's National Airways in Johannesburg is one of three authorised service centres on the African continent. The other two are EgyptAir Maintenance & Engineering in Cairo, and the Moroccan facility of French MRO provider Atlantic Air Industries in Casablanca.