Etihad Airways Engineering is to co-operate with airframer Fabrica Argentina de Aviones (FAdeA) to supply MRO services to South American airlines.

The Abu Dhabi-based maintenance provider says the partners intend to become "significant players" in the region's market for single-aisle airframe and component maintenance.

It notes that seven LAN Argentina Airbus A320s have already been "reconfigured" at FAdeA's facilities as a result of the collaboration.

Under their multi-year agreement, Etihad Airways Engineering will support FAdeA in establishing capabilities and processes, while the Cordoba-based manufacturer will be able to draw on the MRO provider's "strong customer footprint in Latin America".

Etihad Airways Engineering says it has previously carried out heavy maintenance projects for operators of A330s and Boeing 767s, 777s and 787s based in Argentina, Brazil, Chile and Colombia.

The partners will use FAdeA facilities and staff, while Etihad Airways Engineering will act as "preferred" supplier of engineering and part-manufacturing services.

Etihad Airways Engineering has European Aviation Safety Agency Part 21 design and manufacturing organisation certifications – approvals that are especially relevant for cabin refurbishment projects.

FAdeA president Antonio Beltramone states: "This is a strategic agreement for FAdeA that allows us to maximise the potential of our highly skilled labour force and facilities to provide sustainability for our company and conquer new commercial aviation markets."

Etihad Airways Engineering and Airbus subsidiary Tarmac Aerosave recently completed a joint C-check for a LATAM A350 at the disassembly and maintenance venture's facility in Tarbes in southwest France.

On 11 February, the two aftermarket companies disclosed a deal to further explore opportunities to jointly support international operators.

Etihad Airways Engineering is a founding member of Airbus's MRO Alliance.