Malaysia Airlines’ (MAS) maintenance arm MAS Maintenance & Engineering aims to be a heavy maintenance centre for ATR aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region.
MAS Maintenance & Engineering general manager (Subang operations), William Tan, says the unit will be handling all the line maintenance and heavy checks for MAS subsidiaries Firefly and MASWings as well as the line maintenance for third-party customer Berjaya Air.
He says the aim is for Subang to become a centre for ATR maintenance by having MAS Maintenance & Engineering handle heavy maintenance for ATR operators around the region.
© Colin Parker/AirTeamImages.com
The major players in ATR maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) in the region are Fokker Services Asia in Singapore, which does heavy maintenance checks for ATR operators such as Air Bagan in Myanmar and Deccan in India.
There is also Thailand’s Bangkok Airways, which does heavy maintenance checks on its own fleet as well as third-party work.
MAS’ Firefly in August is due to receive the first of 10 ATR 72-500s on order, says Tan, adding that spare parts will be coming to Subang in the coming weeks and prior to delivery of the first aircraft.
He says five ATR 72-500s will go into operation at Firefly this year plus MAS Wings this year is due to receive its first ATR. In February MASWings signed a firm order for five ATR 72-500s.
Berjaya Air, meanwhile, is a privately-owned Malaysian turboprop airline controlled by local conglomerate Berjaya Group which originally established the airline so there would be air services to its resorts.
This smaller airline is based at Kuala Lumpur’s secondary Subang airport and currently operates ageing de Havilland Canada Dash 7s. In December it signed a firm order for four ATR 72-500s for delivery in 2009 and 2010.
Other potential MRO customers that MAS could target include smaller airlines in Myanmar that operate ATRs and ATR operators in Indochina such as Lao Airlines.
There are also ATR operators in Taiwan, Indonesia and Australia, but the airlines there have tended to handle ATR heavy maintenance in-house.
Source: Air Transport Intelligence news