Copa Airlines does not plan to use its soon-to-be-expanded maintenance capabilities to serve other operators, but rather will leverage it to keep more work in-house, a top executive says.
"For now, I think that we're comfortable with [serving] our own needs," Copa CFO Jose Montero told analysts on a recent earnings call. "I think the plan in the immediate future is just simply to cater to our own requirements in terms of maintenance."
The new hangar, scheduled to open in the fourth quarter of this year, will accomodate three narrowbodies simultaneously. Copa operates Boeing 737-700s and -800s and Embraer E-190s, and will begin taking deliveries of 737 Max-family aircraft later this year.
The new hangar dovetails with the carrier's program to reduce maintenance expenses.
Last year, it installed IFS's Mxi Maintenix MRO software, which Montero noted "came out very successfully." The new hangar and related backshops will give the carrier more capability to keep work in-house.
The hangar "more than doubles our current capacity in terms of ability to perform heavy checks here locally," Montero said. "So we will have that expanded capability in the latter part of this year."