Czech Airlines Technics (CSAT) is reviewing further opportunities in China which could include a potential future co-operation with a Chinese partner for aircraft landing gear general overhauls along with component maintenance for the country’s airlines.
The MRO grew its ties with China in April this year when it was granted approval by the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) to maintain Chinese operated aircraft – making it the first independent MRO in Europe to hold the approval.The certification gave CSAT the green light to provide line maintenance services to Chinese carriers operating flights to and from Václav Havel Airport in Prague and enabled its technical team to verify aircraft airworthiness post-maintenance independently.
Pavel Hales, chairman of the board of directors at CSAT, says reviewing future opportunities in areas such as landing gears and components work would “synergize with our long-term strategy in this field.” He says in the meantime, CSAT is looking to expand the line maintenance certificate acquired three months ago, a move partly driven by the increased traffic between the Czech capital and China. The likes of Hainan Airlines and China Eastern Airlines have set up routes between the two countries in the past three years.
Hales says work is already under way with China Eastern but expansions to the certificate are already being planned. “The certificate covers the line maintenance of Airbus A330, Boeing 767 and 777 operated by China Eastern Airlines,” he says. “We are now working on extending the certification to cover other Chinese airlines operating in Prague.”
Expansions to its existing base maintenance and component services are also in the pipeline, Hales says, following the addition of A320neo and 737 MAX line maintenance services in recent years. “We also plan to implement the same capability expansions within the base maintenance and component maintenance departments, while the landing gear set overhaul segment will also see the same capability expansion of the 737 MAX type of aircraft, but in a long-term horizon,” he adds.