A decade ago, Lithuanian MRO provider FL Technics was a plucky upstart on the European maintenance scene – a cheaper alternative to big players such as Lufthansa Technik and AFI KLM E&M.
Nonetheless the company was keen to be more than just a bridge between Europe and former CIS countries, and in 2014 it announced plans to rent a hangar at Indonesia’s main airport.
Three years later that hangar has received its first heavy maintenance visit in the form of a Batik Air 737-800.
Scheduled for completion in February, Batik’s C Check builds on line maintenance deals that FL Technics Indonesia has struck with 10 local airlines since its hangar opened in December.
The subsidiary received its Part 145 maintenance approval from Indonesian authorities in September and wants to gain quickly similar approvals from Thai, Cambodian, Malay and Vietnamese aviation authorities.
And whereas FL Technics has traditionally highlighted its low-cost Lithuanian location, in Indonesia the emphasis is on Western quality standards.
“We will also keep further adapting best practices from our European facilities for the benefit of our Asian Pacific customers,” said Martynas Grigalavicius, CEO of FL Technics Indonesia.
This is a smart move in a country which has been associated with lax safety standards. All Indonesian carriers were banned from European skies from 2007 to 2009, and although flag carrier Garuda has been off the blacklist since then, Indonesia’s biggest airline – Lion Air – was removed only last year.
Part of the country’s rehabilitation has been down to local MRO GMF AeroAsia, with which FL Technics recently agreed to extend its existing cooperation in parts supply and engine maintenance to other areas such as marketing and aircraft maintenance.
FL Technics Indonesia also plans to extend its three-bay Jakarta hanger from 9,000m2 to 15,000m2.