Home' Asian Aviation : AAV June 2010 Contents e deal also includes some 777 cabin upgrades and
747 C-checks. e rst 777 under the new contract
will roll into the Ameco hangars in June, followed the
rst 747 in October. United operates 24 747s and 52
Ameco General Manager Hu Yuliang says that
securing the United Airlines contract is testimony to
the company's capabilities and also enhances Ameco's
position in the global MRO market. e company has
been expanding during the last three years, opening a
64,000 square-metre Airbus A380 hangar, which can
accommodate six widebody aircra at any one time.
e new hangar is currently used for line maintenance.
New 747 hangar
Ameco also commissioned a fully enclosed,
temperature-controlled 10,000 square metre 747
hangar for stripping, washing and painting, which will
simultaneously cater for heavy maintenance for one
aircra -- a 747, 767, or 737 -- thereby cutting out the
time needed to move the aircra from one facility to
With one four-bay maintenance hangar, a painting
hangar and a 747 hangar, Ameco has the capacity to
handle nine widebody and seven narrowbody aircra
at once. e company also runs a training centre that
can cater for up to 950 students.
Alongside the previously mentioned aircra types,
Ameco's heavy maintenance capabilities also cover
Boeing 757 models and Airbus A330, A340 and A320
Ameco was founded on 1 August 1989, under a
15-year agreement signed between Air China and
Lufthansa, which was then extended in 2004 for
another 20 years -- a er much debate within CAAC.
e company now has a workforce of 5,000, and
has trained thousands of local personnel. It has also
developed the local MRO industry from its infancy to
the fast-growing, internationally recognized force it is
" e development of the MRO industry plays
a signi cant role in the safety of Chinese airlines,"
says Liu. " is has also seen an improvement in
eet management by the respective airlines and
higher utilization of aircra ."
However, rising local labour costs are a concern
to the industry. One o cial of a China-based
MRO company, who asks not to be named, says
this is to be expected as the industry grows.
"Eventually, the additional cost will be passed on to
the customer," the o cial says. " is is inevitable
in any industry."
He noted that, even with labour costs rising in China,
thy still remain lower than in many other countries.
e CAAC has been commended for taking tough
action against local companies that provide sub-
standard maintenance of small aircra components.
e number of such companies has been drastically
reduced over the past few years, following complaints
lodged by airlines and other MRO companies.
"Although it was di cult for the authorities to control
the mushrooming of such companies in the early 2000s,
due to the vastness of the country, it is encouraging to
note that action has been taken to reduce the numbers
signi cantly," the anonymous o cial said. ●
There are now more than 20 companies in China
providing heavy maintenance for airframes or engines.
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