Slovenia's maintenance provider Adria Airways Tehnika has received a cash injection from its state owners to turn around the ailing business within one year.

The Ljubljana-based company almost became insolvent after its main customer, Barcelona-based leisure carrier Spanair, ceased operations in January.

Spanair had signed a five-year airframe heavy maintenance contract for its Airbus A320 fleet with Adria Tehnika in 2010, which was due to provide around 25% of the latter's revenue this year.

The MRO company has now been given a cash injection of "more than €3 million" ($3.88 million) by its owners - the state-owned asset management firm PDP (52%) and Ljubljana airport (48%) - says Maksimiljan Pele, chief operating officer.

He says this capital should ideally have been provided when Adria Tehnika was restructured as a standalone business in 2010, rather than after the company disclosed its liquidity problems in early February 2012.

Though there is still a shortage of work, Pele says he expects demand to pick up over the coming year. The MRO provider plans to "optimise" its approximately 230-strong workforce, he adds, but it aims to do so without "dramatic reductions" through retirements or redundancies.

Robert Vuga, who had taken over as chief executive last November, left the company in August. His position has yet to be filled.

Pele says that Adria Tehnika aims to grow its business by "at least a third" through "more aggressive" marketing over the next four years. The company's current turnover stands at around €20 million.

The MRO provider also plans to broaden its technical capabilities, which presently centre on the A320 and Bombardier CRJ families. Pele says it could support a turboprop by Embraer, but he rules out servicing Boeing 737s due to the high level of MRO competition for that narrowbody in Europe.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news