Airbus has engaged French maintenance specialist Sabena Technics to build a fourth aircraft painting facility at the airframer's production line in Toulouse.

Sabena Technics says the site will be dedicated to painting long-haul aircraft and is to become operational in 2019, with construction scheduled to begin in October.

The project represents an investment worth €23 million ($28 million), the Paris-headquartered MRO specialist says.

Plans were revealed last year to add third hangar to the two-bay paint facility, which opened in 2015, for Airbus’s A320-family assembly line.

Sabena Technics chief operating officer Philippe Rochet says the MRO provider has been able to establish a “real painting hub” at the site which will be capable of completing about 150 aircraft a year from 2020.