SR Technics has won a five-deal component deal from the UK's Thomson Airways, boosting its campaign to be the maintenance, repair and overhaul industry's third-largest player - and top dog in terms of "capability and reputation" - within three to five years.

The "integrated component solutions" awarded by Thomson covers 45 aircraft: 29 Boeing 757s and 16 767s. It encompasses exchange, maintenance, repair, logistics and component management services, including provision of dedicated component consignment stocks and access to SR Technics' component pool stocks on a per-flight-hour basis.

Owned by Abu Dhabi state investment arm Mubadala, SR Technics is part of an MRO network that also includes Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies, plus spare engine and rotable leasing company Sanad Aero Solutions.

A project aimed at integrating Mubadala's various aerospace businesses is under way. "We're looking at synergies, and we'll say something more about that in 2011," says James Stewart, who became chief executive of SR Technics earlier this year.

Stewart envisages SR Technics being the third-largest MRO company, behind Lufthansa Technik and Air France-KLM. A "heavy period of restructuring" - during which SR Technics closed its Dublin station and moved component services from London Stansted to Zurich - will be over "come the end of the summer", he says.

The new-look SR Technics is focusing on high-value, specialised work, partly in acknowledgement of its high cost base at Zurich. However, in October it will open what it terms a "narrowbody centre of excellence" in Malta, where lower labour rates apply. An EasyJet A320 family aircraft will be the first aircraft processed at the site, where Boeing 737 capability will be added in 2012.

The Maltese operation is initially using a two-bay hangar leased from Medavia but in 2012 will move to a new four-bay facility, of which construction begins this summer. Stewart cites "long-term stability", a Eurozone location and a skilled labour force as being among Malta's attractions.

Source: Flight Daily News