Qantas Airways will invite MRO firms to compete in a tender process in regard to long-term heavy maintenance for its 15 Boeing 747-400 aircraft.
The move comes after it announced in 2013 that it will close its maintenance facility in Avalon in March this year.
“We indicated when we announced the closure of our Avalon maintenance base that maintenance on our Boeing 747 aircraft may need to be done by one of the specialist global maintenance providers, as there are no suitable facilities in Australia,” says Qantas International head of engineering Alan Milne.
He adds that the carrier will soon begin a tender process to select an MRO to provide long-term support for its 747s. In the interim, however, it has contracted Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering to perform heavy checks on two 747s later this year.
Qantas adds that it continues to perform heavy maintenance checks on its other aircraft, such as 737s, 767s and A330s, at its Brisbane maintenance facility, which recently underwent a A$30 million ($26.6 million) upgrade.
Flightglobal’s Ascend Online Fleets database shows that Qantas has a fleet of 129 aircraft in service, with an average age of 11 years.