Jetstar shortlists three sites for new MRO base

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Qantas Airways' low-cost carrier Jetstar is looking to have a second heavy maintenance base because its one at Newcastle is constrained.

The Gold Coast, Melbourne and Sydney are the three sites short-listed "and we are now working through proposals from the state governments", says a Jetstar spokesman, adding that Australia's state governments offer incentives to attract businesses.

The airline aims to select a site by year-end and decide on a facility in early 2010, he says, adding that it is probably "more logical to go with a greenfield site".

Jetstar needs a second site because the one it has at Newcastle is constrained due to the airport there, he says.

The new MRO base will do heavy maintenance checks on the airline's fleet of Airbus A320s, as will Newcastle. Qantas Airways' maintenance and engineering arm will continue to do the carrier's fleet of Airbus A330s, adds the spokesman.

The spokesman says the new MRO base will employ 100 people to begin with and the airline is also looking at having a maintenance and engineering academy as part of the project.