With MRO facilities in Russia, Europe and The Middle East, The Volga Dnepr Group looks at the MRO market globally. As fleet counts are growing and upgrades increase for older planes, the group is expecting stable and solid growth over the next four to six years.
Providing MRO for customers worldwide since 1996, Volga-Dneper has done line and base maintenance, component repair and cabin modifications. Management sees major opportunities for growth in further improvement of service quality, expansion of EASA Part 145 and EASA Part 147 ratings to more categories of repair and extension of the Group’s maintenance certificates to more countries’ civil aviation authorities. It is also working on expansion of its customer base, strengthening commercial and sales forces and providing 24/7 customer service in all regions, but with a main focus on The Persian Gulf, managers say.
The group has more than 800 aircraft maintenance staff now. It trains staff continuously, both internally at its own Aviation Training Center and by outsourcing to the leading MRO training centers.
Management believes the Group’s MRO facilities are well positioned to meet increasing demands. In the United Arab Emirates, a crossroads of Asia, Africa, and Europe, Volga-Dnepr has a hangar of 22,000 square meters for large aircraft. Stations in Leipzig and Frankfurt cover the European market, expected to grow at a healthy rate in 2018. Russian stations mostly work for Russian carriers, including the Group’s own AirBridgeCargo airlines and Volga-Dnepr Airlines. In addition, management says it is ready to set up new locations and consults constantly with current and potential customers on their needs.
Unlike many western MROs, Volga-Dnepr does not see recruiting staff as a major challenge. It has its own training center in Moscow for MRO on Western-built aircraft. Rather, managers tick off a number of other long-term challenges: new technologies, which will require training and equipment; fierce competition from existing and highly competitive Asian MROs; OEM competition for the aftermarket; high volatility in aviation markets; and price hikes from suppliers.