John Holland Aviation gets Virgin Blue's embraer MRO deal

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Australia's Virgin Blue has awarded Melbourne based John Holland Aviation Services a 10-year contract to carry out heavy maintenance on its Embraer passenger aircraft.

This is in addition to an existing contract to the MRO firm to provide heavy maintenance to some of its Boeing 737 aircraft, says the carrier.

John Holland's general manager Andrew Henderson says that his company is the only independent MRO firm in the Asia Pacific "to feature Embraer maintenance capabilities". The "multi-million" dollar contract could generate over 200,000 man-hours of maintenance activity at the firm, which employs over 300 aircraft maintenance engineers.

Virgin Tech, Virgin Blue's engineering company, will continue to provide line maintenance to both the 737 and Embraer fleets.

According to ACAS, Virgin Blue has six Embraer E-170s and 13 Embraer E-190s, with another five E-190s on order. The airline says that it will receive all five of those by end-2011.

The airline began introducing the aircraft in August 2007 to allow it to launch services between Sydney and Canberra. It also provides "greater fleet flexibility across the route network and the ability to venture further into regional Australia with the right-sized aircraft", adds Virgin Blue.