Ameco Beijing, a joint-venture between Air China and Lufthansa, will be opening next month its much-awaited Boeing 747 hangar.

The Beijing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm was originally planning to complete the hangar in time for it to open in last year's fourth quarter but in a statement today it says it will open next month.

The 270 million yuan ($40 million) hangar can fit two 747s simultaneously and will be used for heavy maintenance checks and painting, it says.

Ameco Beijing has one other 747 hangar, but it is only used for painting.

In addition, the MRO firm has a four-bay hangar as well as a hangar that can accommodate several Airbus A380s.

Altogether the four hangars give Ameco the capability to handle 15 widebodies and 11 narrowbodies simultaneously.

An Ameco spokeswoman says the new 747 hangar was delayed by nearly a year because the Government ordered construction to be halted.

She was unable to say why but added the decision was made in the lead up to the September 2008 Olympics.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news