Andrea Spinelli/GENOA

Alenia is considering the sale of part of its US maintenance business, Dee Howard, while the Italian group's Venice-based Aeronavali unit has received a huge order from a leasing company for converting McDonnell Douglas DC-10s into freighters.

Maintenance represents around 65% of Dee Howard's annual $100 million sales. The remainder of the company's revenue comes from modification and thrust reverser businesses. Although it is not clear what parts of the unit may be sold, sources within the companies confirm that Alenia is looking at the sale of "some of the division's assets".

The maintenance company, based in San Antonio, California, has been involved in a number of conversion programmes in recent years, including the re-engineing of some 50 Boeing 727-100s with Rolls-Royce Tay 650s, for which it holds the supplemental type certificate. The company also designs and manufactures thrust reversers both for new build and aftermarket applications.

Meanwhile, Aeronavali has won a L300 billion ($165 million) order from leasing company Ten Forty to convert 20 ex-Japan Air Lines McDonnell Douglas DC-10-40s to freighters. The first aircraft is already at Aeronavali's Venice plant undergoing work, and will be delivered for lease to US freight carrier Challenge Air Cargo later this year. Aeronavali is also undertaking some FedEx DC-10/MD-10 conversions.

Ten Forty, a special-purpose company headed by Irish leasing specialist Omega Air, will take re-delivery of two aircraft after conversion in 1998, with the remaining 18 aircraft being modified at a rate of two or three per year through to 2006.

Source: Flight International