SR Technics to close Dublin maintenance base

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Maintenance firm SR Technics is to close its Dublin base, one of its three main European stations, as a result of the loss of business for the centre.

SR Technics employs 1,135 personnel at its Dublin station, which handles aircraft and component maintenance, including landing-gear and auxiliary power unit servicing. The facility includes six maintenance hangars and bays for four widebody and nine narrowbody aircraft.

Line maintenance will continue at Dublin for the time being, says the company, but this activity will be transferred to another provider at some point.

SR Technics chief Bernd Kessler says the closure follows an "exhaustive evaluation of all strategic options" for the group's businesses.

"We are fully aware of the difficult economic and labour market situation in Ireland and the personal implications of a closure for our staff in Dublin," he says.

The company has been struggling to cope with a reduction in business at Dublin. The base has been hit hard by substantial loss of work from Dublin-based Aer Lingus, and even the work it retained from the Irish flag carrier was secured last year only after a cost-cutting effort.

The Dublin operation has also felt the impact from the loss of a contract with Bahrain's Gulf Air last month.

"Recent loss of major contracts from primary load customers in Dublin, the current business and economic forecasts, as well as the high cost base of the operation means it will not be possible to fill the resulting capacity gaps with sustainable business in the medium term," says SR Technics.

Following a review of its activities, it has opted "with regret" to close the Dublin operation. The company has entered a 30-day negotiation period with trade unions.

"Against the backdrop of adverse market conditions for the aviation industry and the global economic downturn, SR Technics is restructuring its business to secure the group's long-term future and to deliver the necessary efficiencies and improved productivity throughout the group," it adds.

SR Technics says that its Irish operation at Cork will be unaffected, and the Dublin closure will have no impact on other SR Technics facilities.