United’s Nationwide Maintenance Upgrade

The U.S. airline has commenced construction of a new MRO facility in Los Angeles.

United Airlines has started building a $352 million new maintenance facility at Los Angeles International (LAX).

The new Technical Operations Center will cover more than 400,000 sq.-ft. and be able to fit either six narrowbodies or two widebodies at a time.

"This builds on our recently completed nearly $600 million renovation to our terminal at LAX,” said Greg Hart, chief operations officer at United.

Furthermore, the TOC will consolidate and streamline United’s support work at the airport, where it currently operates two facilities more than a mile apart. The new facility will include a ground service equipment and facilities maintenance building and a line maintenance hangar, including an engine support shop that will focus on the aircraft's Boeing 787 fleet.

Separately, in the fourth quarter of 2018, United recorded a $64 million charge for the termination of one of its engine maintenance service agreements.

United currently operates 12 GEnx-powered 787-8s, 25 787-9s and five 787-10s. It has 14 more 787-9s and nine 787-10s on order.

Overall, the U.S. major has more than 250 aircraft on order, and it is upgrading maintenance facilities around the country to cope with a growing fleet.

For example, the airline is seeking to consolidate maintenance activities at Houston’s George Bush airport with another TOC, while Tampa airport authorities recently approved a ground lease for a new hangar with room for two Boeing 737 MAX aircraft.

Other developments include a move into a new hangar in Portland, Oregon and work with Chicago authorities to create a new hangar at O'Hare airport.

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