JetBlue Airways has selected El Salvador-based Aeroman and Pemco's Tampa, Florida facility to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) for its entire fleet of Airbus A320 aircraft, ATI can exclusively reveal.

Earlier this year the New York JFK-based carrier issued a request for proposal (RFP) for five-year MRO contracts to roughly half-a-dozen vendors.

Long-time JetBlue vendor Aeroman was selected for A320 MRO services, but the carrier's other provider, Empire Aero Centre in New York state was not, confirms JetBlue director of aircraft maintenance Frank Buratti.

"The contract we have for A320 MRO is pretty much split between Aeroman and Pemco," says Buratti.

"Pemco is rather new there [in A320 MRO in Tampa] but they have presence and experience on the A320 in their other location in Alabama. What we've done, since Pemco is fairly new with us, is we've given Aeroman our heavier, more detailed checks, which usually last anywhere form 12 to 25 days. It makes sense because they have more experience on our aircraft."

The Empire agreement never had any type of minimum quantities, however. "If we wanted to have the ability to use Empire if needed, we could," notes Buratti.

JetBlue's Embraer 190s are being maintained primarily by Embraer Nashville but Canadian firm Exeltech also conducted work on the airliners in 2009. Buratti says JetBlue continues to hold negotiations with Exeltech for the 2010 contract.

"Exeltech now has some experience and we've given them some aircraft for lighter checks and now we're talking about 2010," says Buratti.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news