Chinese maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm Shandong TAECO Aircraft Engineering (STAECO) is building its first widebody hangar and hopes to do heavy maintenance work on Boeing 767s.

A senior source at STAECO's Jinan headquarters says the MRO firm is building a widebody hangar and hopes to have it completed on 20 May.

It will have two widebody slots and will be STAECO's fifth hangar, says the source, adding that the others are narrowbody hangars with a total of 11 slots.

The widebody hangar is being built because within the next three years it hopes to start carrying out heavy maintenance checks on Chinese-registered 767s as well as 767s from other countries such as Japan and South Korea, says the source.

STAECO has already done heavy maintenance checks on narrowbodies from overseas.

These include Bombardier CRJs, Boeing 737s and Saab 340s from Japanese carriers and it has started doing Saab 340 heavy maintenance checks for Mongolia's Eznis Airways.

The source says STAECO is in the early stages of negotiations with Embraer China about adding the capability to do heavy maintenance checks on Embraer 170s and Embraer 190s.

It is also adding the capability to support Commercial Aircraft Corporation of China ARJ21s, adds the source.

STAECO's sister company Shandong Airlines has 10 ARJ21s on order but it recently declined to be the ARJ21 launch operator, leaving it to Shenzhen Airlines' regional carrier Kunpeng Airlines.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news