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Alaska Airlines, HAECO Americas To Spend $100 Million On Facilities

Growth of MROs in the U.S., in both scope and physical size, is related to airlines’ expanding fleets and the impending arrival of next-gen aircraft.

Two U.S.-based maintenance providers—HAECO Americas and the MRO division of Alaska Airlines—plan to construct new facilities. The aggregate investment is $100 million.

Alaska Airlines confirmed in July that it intends to put $40 million into a new maintenance center at Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport, which is scheduled to become operational by mid-2018.

Once built, it will have twice the capacity—100,000 m2 (1.1 million ft.2)—of its existing hangar, located 0.5 mi. away, and be able to accommodate two of its largest aircraft type, the Boeing 737 MAX 9.

The airline, which has another hangar at its Seattle headquarters, said the new Anchorage facility will allow it to service the aircraft scheduled to arrive in its fleet in the next five years, comprising more than 50 next-gen 737s.

“As we grow and add larger airplanes to our fleet, it’s time we upgraded our northernmost maintenance facility,” says Kurt Kinder, vice president of maintenance and engineering.

The maintenance commitment is part of an overall investment of nearly $100 million across the airline’s operations in Alaska, which includes updates to its terminals in airports across the state and addition of three 737-700 freighters to its fleet.

HAECO Americas, meanwhile, confirmed its plans to invest $60 million into a new MRO facility at Greensboro Piedmont Triad International Airport in North Carolina, which will lead to the creation of 500 jobs. 

The MRO’s new hangar will be nearly twice the size of any of the four maintenance hangars it now operates at the airport. It also has shops in Florida and Georgia, along with an engine maintenance center in Oscoda, Michigan, and two design engineering and manufacturing sites in North Carolina that handle seats and cabin interiors.

The center will  be able to accommodate either eight narrowbody or two widebody and two narrowbody aircraft simultaneously when it is completed in late 2017. The Greensboro hangar is anticipated to be ready for its first customer aircraft in January 2018.

Richard Kendall, CEO of HAECO Americas, says the Greensboro operation puts the company in a strong position because its central location on the East Coast “makes it ideal for servicing aircraft that fly the rapidly expanding routes connecting centers in the U.S., both domestically and with other countries.” 

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