SriLankan Airlines is in talks with a number of potential partners to jointly set up an MRO facility at the upcoming Hambantota International Airport in Mattala.

"We're still in the process of negotiations about the MRO with a few organisations and therefore, not in a position to give any specific details at this stage," says an airline spokesman.

Local media reports, however, say that the airline is in discussions with German MRO company Lufthansa Technik (LHT). The latter would be able to provide the airline with the technological knowledge and ensure that the joint venture attracts third party work, they add.

When contacted, LHT would only say that it is permanently evaluating business opportunities in interesting markets.

"Of course, these evaluations also include possible partnerships or a stronger LHT engagement in Asia," it adds.

The Hambantota airport, Sri Lanka's second international airport, is scheduled to begin operations on 18 March.

SriLankan also owns an MRO facility at Colombo International Airport that does line and base maintenance, and component support and repairs.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news