TAM Airlines plan to construct a R$100 million ($26.6 million) maintenance hangar at São Paulo Guarulhos International Airport (GRU) that it expects will cut R$40 million annually in operational costs by focusing more activities around the hub.
Construction of the 65,000-sq.-meter hangar—which will have the capacity to hold six widebody or 17 narrowbody aircraft simultaneously—should start in the second half of 2016, and finish a year later. It will be able to handle any LAN or TAM aircraft in the LATAM Group fleet.
The airline will continue to operate its maintenance center in São Carlos, north of São Paulo, after the new hangar opens—but then will concentrate on major maintenance checks (C and D) that require more resources and downtime. The new hangar, closer to Congonhas, the airport in central Sao Paulo where TAM’s engine maintenance is completed, will focus on daily, weekly and light (A) checks.
The airline, part of the LATAM Group, will generate savings through supply-chain efficiencies, workshops in the new hangar and decreased transportation costs.
TAM does not plan to offer third-party services from the GRU, but given that it will be the only maintenance hangar there, TAM says it could service other airlines’ aircraft at GRU on an as-needed basis.
TAM recently upgraded its cargo warehouse at GRU, as well.