Uncertainty surrounding Alitalia's future has created a situation that is "challenging" for Atitech, the MRO provider's marketing and sales director Salvatore Russo has acknowledged.

Atitech conducts airframe checks on Airbus A320-family jets for Alitalia, which has entered extraordinary administration and set a 16 October deadline for takeover bids.

Speaking to FlightGlobal at the MRO event in London on 4 October, Russo acknowledged that a loss of activity for the Italian flag carrier would have "an impact" on Atitech's business, which is concentrated on supporting single-aisle aircraft. But he says the provider will be able to continue operating "for sure".

He notes that customers beyond Alitalia account for more than half of Atitech's business, and argues that "we are on the way of recovery".

In 2015, Atitech – which has its base on the south side of Naples airport – acquired from Leonardo hangar facilities on the gateway's north side in a bid to expand the business and maintain widebody aircraft too.

Leonardo has a 25% shareholding in Atitech. Private equity fund Meridie is the majority shareholder with a 60% stake, held by an entity named Manutenzioni Aeronautiche, while the remaining shares are owned by Alitalia.

The hangar acquisition included taking on around 180 employees. Russo confirms discussions with unions on the future of these staff members. He says a solution has been found to keep them in work.

Russo insists the MRO provider will need hangars on both sides of the airport. Without the former Leonardo facility – which includes a widebody hangar – it would be "impossible" to serve Atitech's customers, he says.

Atitech's website indicates that the company conducted its first Airbus A330 project earlier this year – a cabin update for Russian carrier VIM-Avia. Prior to that, the MRO provider had already been servicing Boeing 767s.

Today, Atitech revealed it had won a deal from NATO's Support and Procurement Agency to maintain three Airbus A319CJ aircraft for the Italian air force. The three-year contract covers scheduled and unscheduled maintenance, continued airworthiness management services, and pool access for equipment including engines, APUs and landing gears. There is an option for a two-year extension, adds Atitech.

Source: Cirium Dashboard