US aircraft maintenance provider AAR expects its planned MRO facility in India will open for business near the end of 2018 or at the beginning of 2019, says a top AAR official.

Chief operating officer John Holmes also says AAR hopes to soon announce new deals under which the site will maintain aircraft for two customers.

Wood Dale, Illinois-based AAR is building the facility in the Indian city of Nagpur through a joint business with Indian aviation services company Indamer Aviation Private Limited.

"We've secured land to construct both facilities and… we do expect to be able to induct our first aircraft in the middle of [fiscal year 2019]," Holmes tells investors during AAR's earnings call on 20 March.

AAR's fiscal year 2019 ends on 31 May of that year.

"We are in negotiations with two different… customers," Holmes adds. "Currently those customers are sending their work out of the country, so they are interested in bringing that work back in the country."

"We hope that we would be in a position to announce those contracts… relatively soon," he says.

News of AAR's ambitions in India became clear during the Singapore air show in February, when the company announced formation of a joint business with Indamer, through which the companies will establish the new airframe MRO facility.

Indamer already services Bombardier and Embraer aircraft.

The site will initially include six maintenance bays for narrowbody aircraft, including one bay for painting.

But AAR's Holmes says the companies are planning a second phase of development that will include construction of another hangar capable of accommodating four-to-six narrowbody aircraft. Eventually, the site could house 16 maintenance bays and a component repair shop, AAR has said.

AAR is seeking certification of the site by the US Federal Aviation Administration, the European Aviation Safety Agency and India's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, AAR says.

Source: Cirium Dashboard