Air India inducts first SpiceJet aircraft for service at MRO
|Source: The Hitavada Date: 14 Aug 2017 09:47:31|
Air India Engineering Services Limited (AIESL), a subsidiary of Air India inducted the first SpiceJet aircraft VTSZM 737 at its state-of-the-art MRO facility at Nagpur on Sunday, to perform C1 check. This is the first major maintenance work to be carried out for any external party at the MRO facility.
The first aircraft was ceremoniously inducted by Devendra Fadnavis, Chief Minister of Maharashtra in the presence of Nitin Gadkari, Union Minister for Road, Transport, Highways and Shipping, Ashok Gajapathy Raju, Union Minister for Civil Aviation, Ashwani Lohani, Chairman and Managing Director of Air India, Ajay Singh, Chairman and Managing Director SpiceJet, H R Jagannath, Chief Executive Officer of AIESL, Suresh Kakani, Vice Chairman and Managing Director of MADC, Chandrashekhar Bawankule, Guardian Minister for Nagpur District, Krupal Tumane, MP, Anoop Kumar, Divisional Commissioner of Nagpur and others.
Speaking on the occasion, Devendra Fadnavis complemented Air India and SpiceJet for signing an agreement. The growth rate of passengers traffic at Dr Babasaheb Ambedkar International Airport, Nagpur is 33 per cent against the growth of aviation industry which is 20 per cent. “We have floated tenders to give facelift to the existing airport on international standards and also to construct second runway. After five years, the face of the airport will be completely changed,” he said. Post-GST, Nagpur is emerging as an important destination for logistics hub. He requested Ajay Singh to avail optimum facilities of MRO.
He said, SpiceJet and other airlines should make a report and submit in three months. Maharashtra Government will support to start Boeing Finishing School. “We want to promote employment to the huge manpower available here. In aviation sector, we are scanning opportunities. Even in defence sector, investment is in pipeline,” he added.
Nitin Gadkari said, “It was our dream that MRO should operate with its full capacity when Air India purchased Boeing planes worth thousands of crores. Earlier, we have to go Singapore to carry out repair works, but now with MRO facility here, we are saving huge cost of Air India planes and forex.”
“Taxation is a big problem in aviation sector. We have requested Finance Ministry to reduce taxes and it has promised us that necessary steps will be taken to make the services cheaper.”
Appreciating the efforts of Ashwani Lohani in putting the business of Air India on profit mode, Gadkari said, AIESL should be separated from Air India. He hinted that Air India would anytime go for disinvestment and if AIESL remains a subsidiary of Air India, it’s future would be bleak.
He said, daily 350 international flights fly over Nagpur and the Zero Mile is equal distant from places like New Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Bengaluru etc. Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis is making all efforts to make Nagpur as international passenger cargo hub. Nagpur has 38 engineering colleges. SpiceJet should make Nagpur airport as its base for parking during night hours and start flights to Bengaluru, Chennai, Mumbai and New Delhi. “It will give employment to local people,” he suggested.
He said, his ministry and State Government were giving boost to seaplanes. “We are in talks with a Japanese company which will start its trial in next month. Also, we are giving subsidy to companies which will show interest in operating seaplanes,” he added.
Speaking on the occasion, Jagannath said, “AIESL has been progressively enhancing its customer base in India and abroad. Nagpur MRO is a state-of-an-art MRO and is one of the best in this part of the world. Operationalisation of this MRO has been a challenge. In the last two years, AIESL has been servicing Air India aircraft in these hangers. Induction of SpiceJet aircraft goes a long way in enhancing business potential of this MRO.”
“Engine MRO at Nagpur is ready and awaiting necessary approval which will be given soon. World’s biggest engine GE90 used in B777 aircraft will be serviced here. The capability of the shop will be extended to cover GenX engines in due course. This will be another feather in our cap and hope that it will contribute significantly to the progress of Nagpur region,” he added.
Till date, Nagpur MRO has handled 20 aircraft. They include 18 big aircraft of Air India like 777 and small 320 aircraft and one SpiceJet aircraft.
Ajay Singh, CMD of SpiceJet said, “Today is a proud moment for both SpiceJet and Air India as our first Boeing 737 first goes for checks at the Nagpur MRO facility.” Although, the aviation industry is growing by 20 per cent but only three per cent of population in the country uses air traffic which itself indicates that there is huge potential in aviation industry. “We have to create infrastructure facilities to exploit the potential. We want SpiceJet to make Nagpur as its base and start flight to Mumbai as there is no flight in night,” he added. In his speech, Ashwani Lohani expressed happiness over this development.
Earlier, the AIESL had signed an agreement with SpiceJet to get C1, C2 and higher checks to be carried out on their Boeing 737-800/900 aircraft in September last year.
Built over 50 acres of land acquired from MADC in MIHAN-SEZ in June 2010, the MRO was set up as a joint initiative between Air India and Boeing. Air India’s fleet comprising mainly Boeing aircraft is being done at this MRO complex from June 2015. Besides carrying out all kinds of major maintenance checks on the Boeing aircraft, the complex has additional capability to carry out maintenance up to 4A check including modification, structural inspection and repair on A319/A320/321 series aircraft fitted with CFM 56-5b/v250-AI series engines.
Prominently present were Ashish Deshmukh, Sudhakar Deshmukh, Sudhakar Kohale, all legislators, S S Quazi, General Manager of Air India MRO, S V Chahande, Chief Engineer of MADC, Amruta Fadnavis