Alitalia's Engineering and Maintenance division is planning to boost its third-party overhaul work from today's 30% of its activities to 50% over the next five years.

Marketing chief Enrico Sposato says that if Europe's fourth-largest maintenance player - after Lufthansa Technik, Air France Industries and SR Technics - is to keep adding to its $500 million annual turnover it must add the business of others, for the Alitalia fleet is not expected to grow significantly.

The division supports Alitalia's 94 MD-80s, 29 Airbus A320s, 12 Boeing 767s and eight MD-11s.

In April Alitalia split itself into five divisions, with Engineering and Maintenance being one. Next year all of the divisions will be separated from the airline and transformed into individual businesses, giving them chance to bring in outside investment and form joint ventures in specific maintenance areas.

The division has invested $32 million investment in a new engine overhaul shop in Rome, as well as refurbishing its component repair outfit, and is increasing the number of overhaul bays at its Atitech MD-80/737 heavy maintenance operation from six to 11.

Source: Flight Daily News