US aerospace firm and MRO provider AAR appears to be moving closer to offering maintenance of the Embraer E-170/190 family of jets.

About a year ago AAR CEO David Storch said the company was exploring options to offer E-Jet maintenance to operators, and said AAR could get up to speed rather quickly if a firm decision was made to expand its capabilities to include the Embraer aircraft.

AAR COO Timothy Romenesko told ATI and Flightglobal during the MRO Americas show that the company sees opportunities for E-Jets "from a few different dimensions", including heavy maintenance, component repair and logistics and supply chain.

Two independent MROs that in 2009 unveiled plans to offer E-Jet maintenance have encountered financial challenges. Canadian MRO ExelTech, which had a tentative deal with JetBlue for E-190 heavy maintenance, in February of this year sought creditor protection. Empire Aero in 2009 won board approval to secure tooling for E-Jet heavy maintenance, but since then has announced employee layoffs.

As those two companies struggle AAR has talked "to all of the [E-Jet] operatorscertainly all the major operators, and are talking to them about their support requirements and their interest in having someone like us provide additional capability for this fleet", says Romenesko.

He explains there are a few locations where AAR could perform E-Jet heavy maintenance.

"We have our Hot Springs facility, which has historically been a regional aircraft maintenance centre," he explains. "We could do the work in Miami, where we could put multiple aircraft in the hangar. We could do it in Oklahoma City or we could dot it in Indianapolis."

Ultimately AAR would want to perform the E-Jet heavy maintenance "in the places that make the most sense for our customers and where we can get the best utilisation out of the hangars", says Romenesko.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news