Max Kingsley-Jones/LONDON

SAAB AIRCRAFT is working on a programme to take all Saab 340 painting and interior finishing work in-house, from its UK subcontractor Hunting Aviation, by the end of this year.

This marks the end of 13 years of subcontracting this activity in the UK by Hunting Aviation and its predecessors. Hunting is responsible for the design, manufacture and installation of the 340's interior. While the former activity is undertaken at Hunting's Biggin Hill plant, most installation and painting is carried out at East Midlands Airport. Hunting will retain design and manufacturing responsibility.

According to Saab, the primary reason for the change is to reduce lead times and costs. "We expect to save up to five days from the production schedule by doing the work in-house," says the company. "This will give us more control of delivery dates- we will also reduce costs by eliminating the ferry flights."

Saab has modified one of the hangars at its Linkoping plant for the painting work. It says it would have done the work in-house from the start of the 340 programme, but until now has not had the capacity.

There are no plans for a similar move for the Saab 2000, the completion of which is undertaken by AIM Aviation.

Source: Flight International