Building an airline and a maintenance staff in a remote, once underserved location is not easy, but it can be done, step by step.
Flying two Boeing 737-300s, two 737-800s and two 737-900s from Tajikistan’s Dushanbe International Airport, Somon Air is still a relatively young and small airline. Director of engineering and maintenance Bakhodur Rakhimov says his department has been approved by both his own country’s and Bermuda’s civil aviation authorities for Part 145 and Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization activities.
The carrier’s own certified maintenance staff now perform all line maintenance activities up to A Checks at Dushanbe. “Engineering and planning are done fully by Somon Air engineering and planning staff,” Rakhimov stresses. At present, maintenance and engineering staff total about 54 employees.
Somon’s C checks have so far been done outside of Tajikistan by a number of MROs, such as myTechnic and THY-Technic in Turkey, S7 Technics and Sibir Technics in Russia and FL Technics in Lithuania.
Rakhimov says he plans to develop his base at Dushanbe to have capability up to C checks. “Also we are planning to build a wheel-and-tire shop, a battery shop and a calibration shop.”
The Somon maintenance executive acknowledges it is not easy to recruit certified staff who already have sufficient experience. But he says he has enough talented people who have graduated from aviation universities all over the world. “They are very smart and doing their best to get experience and become certified technicians and engineers.”