Jetstar to set up Singapore MRO facility by 2014

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Australian low-cost carrier Jetstar is planning to set up a maintenance hangar at Singapore's Changi airport.

The Qantas subsidiary is in discussions with the airport to finalise plans for the facility to be operational by 2014, said its spokeswoman.

The hangar will be able to accommodate up to two widebodies and it will be used for the airline's Airbus A330s, Airbus A320s and Boeing 787s, she added.

The airline is considering two options - building and operating the hangar itself, or working with its current maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) partners, Singapore Haeco (Shaeco) or ST Aerospace.

"The aim is for Jetstar to do more of its own aircraft maintenance," said the spokeswoman, adding that Singapore is an obvious choice for the hangar to capture the boom in the Asian aviation industry and also because the airline has 19 aircraft based there.

With the new facility, the airline expects to grow its local staff by 150-200 "over the next few years".

Jetstar is increasingly setting up in Singapore as a base for its business. The airline's global sales team will be moving from Melbourne to Singapore this year after its information technology centre did likewise last year.

Jetstar is also working on transferring the air operator's certificates for services from Singapore to Melbourne, Beijing and Auckland from Jetstar Australia to Jetstar Asia. This will mean operating the flights using crew from the Asia office instead.

Jetstar Asia is likely to launch more services into greater China this year, said the spokeswoman, who declined to provide further details.