HAECO recently announced it would do the first C check on a Finnair Airbus A350 in the fourth quarter of 2017. Jari Huhtinen, head of technical operations at Finnair, says he has a contract in place with HAECO to have C checks done on seven 7 A350s between October 2017 and October 2018.
“Finnair organized a competitive tender for A350 C checks in spring 2017,” Huhtinen notes. Finnair has been one of the first airlines to be on the MRO market for A350 base maintenance, having taken the first of 19 ordered A350-900s in 2015. “In addition to cost competitiveness, the MRO’s qualifications and readiness for the A350 fleet, in line with Finnair maintenance schedules, played a key role in decision making,” the Finnair exec explains.
It did not hurt that HAECO’s base in Hong Kong was Finnair’s scheduled A350 destination, so the airline could use commercial flight schedules to fly the aircraft for maintenance at Hong Kong. And there is tradition and a long-standing relationship here. “Finnair has worked with HAECO for many years on various widebody maintenance activities,” Huhtinen explains. HAECO previously worked on Finnair’s A330s and A340s and has redelivered about 50 aircraft to the Finnish airline. “The A350 is the continuation of that relationship.”
Finnair operates ten A350-900s now, with nine more coming into the fleet. It looks like there might be more work for the Hong Kong MRO. “Currently, there no plans to in-source widebody C checks,” Huhtinen says. ”We will continue with the outsourcing model.”