Mexico’s Interjet recently launched its third daily flight between New York JFK and Mexico City.
The growing airline now flies its 48 A320-family aircraft and 22 Superjet 100s to 53 destinations in eight countries.
Privately held, the airline offers passenger services beyond the pure LCC model, and thus has higher fares than some pure LCC competitors. Its international traffic has been growing faster than 20% annually.
The airline also has substantial MRO assets, plans to stick with a largely in-house approach to maintenance and is looking for more third-party work from other airlines.
The carrier now has 400 employees in its maintenance unit, including techs, engineers and other support staff. It does base airframe maintenance at its home in Toluca International Airport.
In-house maintenance on both Airbus and Superjet fleets includes heavy checks, routine and non-routine, inspections, structural repairs, composite-material repairs, painting, modifications, service bulletins, airworthiness directives, corrosion prevention and aging programs.
The maintenance unit, Interjet MRO Solutions, can do a full range of non-destructive tests, including eddy current, magnetic, ultrasonic and borescope tests. Interjet also has 15 shops for component repairs. Some engine work is outsourced to Safran Aircraft Engine Services Americas, Lufthansa Technik and SR Technics.
The carrier says it sees plenty of opportunities to expand its maintenance staff, both as Interjet’s own fleet grows and as opportunities arise to work for other airlines. Interjet maintenance is certified by regulators in Mexico, the U.S., Columbia and Chile.
The airline says the big maintenance gaps in Mexico are generally not for airframes or line work, but for engine repair, APU and component shops and for providers of tooling and non-destructive testing services.
Even with its own substantial resources, Interjet’s maintenance managers would like to see some of these gaps filled.