Home' Asian Aviation : AAV November 2010 Contents 30 AsianAviation | NOVEMBER 2010
e sca olding platforms have to be about 25m
high, taller than for any other aircra currently in
ai Air ways International, which has also ordered
six A380s, echoed MAS' concerns on maintenance.
e carrier decided in 2006 to expand its Technical
Department's capabilities to cover A380 maintenance,
but has since abandoned the idea. A ai Technical
Department o cial said the airline will have to
contract the jetliner's maintenance out to a third
e o cial acknowledged that the earlier decision
to support the A380 in-house was made hastily,
without taking into consideration the cost involved in
acquiring the necessary equipment. ai Airways has
invested more than US$1.1 million to build its A380
hangar at Bangkok's Don Muang Airport. e hangar
can accommodate two of the superjumbos at a time.
Early this year, the carrier approached Airbus to
try to cancel its A380 order, but was told that it
would face a heavy nancial penalty. e airline then
requested to swap the order for Airbus A330-300s to
an equivalent value. Airbus still declined.
However, the manufacturer did allow the ai ag
carrier to delay delivery of its rst two aircra by two
years to October 2012.
Singapore Airlines' SIA Engineering (SIAEC)
a liate is likely to be one of just two MRO ser vice
providers in the region and a handful worldwide
to have the capability to carry out scheduled A380
maintenance. e other will be Qantas Engineering
and Maintenance -- the Australian airline has the
biggest A380 order in the Asia-Paci c with 20 aircra
SIAEC will support its parent airline's eet of 19
A380s. Singapore's geographical position puts the
company in a good position to secure good market
share in the Asia-Paci c region as the global A380
eet expands. Hangar 6 at Changi Airport, which was
opened in February, is purpose built to accommodate
the A380, although its docks can also accommodate
the Boeing 777.
Beijing-based Aircra Maintenance Engineering
(Ameco) has also invested in a massive hangar,
which has the capacity to handle four A380s at once.
China's low labour costs make it an attractive third-
party MRO ser vice provider, while Lu hansa's role
as a joint venture partner in the company alongside
Air China, gives the company extra stability and
Ameco has started providing line maintenance for
Lu hansa's A380, which is used on the Frankfurt-
Beijing route. Air China holds a 60 percent stake in
the company, while Lu hansa has the remaining 40
Lu hansa Technik says the entry into ser vice of the
A380 came with many challenges.
Enhancing technolog y was important, but even
more important was ensuring that the people who
work on the aircra are properly quali ed. To prepare
the company's already highly trained personnel for
working on the A380, Lu hansa Technical Training
(LTT), a wholly-owned subsidiary of Lufthansa
Technik, has been o ering a new, comprehensive
A380 maintenance training program in Frankfurt.
e programme was developed in cooperation with
Airbus and LTT's customers over a period of ve
years. e company teaches up to 12 participants in
each course how to deal with the complex systems
of the aircra , in theory and practice. Due to the
complexity of the A380's systems, the training courses
take as long as 62 days.
As of 30 September, 16 customers have ordered
234 A380s, all of them -800 series models. Airbus
has already delivered 37 aircra : 13 to Emirates, 11
to SIA, six to Qantas, four to Air France and three to
Lu hansa. n
Malaysia Airlines is considering pooling A380
maintenance resources with other operators.
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