Having signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) in May 2017 to expand its aircraft maintenance facility in Malta, SR Technics furthered its plans on Monday (August 6) by penning a contract with national economic development agency Malta Enterprise and Malta Industrial Parks which oversees the management of government-owned properties.
The new 322,000 square foot facility located at Malta International Airport will accommodate widebody and narrowbody aircraft and will hold greater workshop space which will enable increased capacity for heavy maintenance work, C-checks and any cabin modifications or retrofits to up to six narrowbody aircraft at a time. The investment will stand at a reported €35 million ($40.5 million).
Construction is expected to begin this year with the first four bays scheduled to be completed by November 2019. Initial focus will be on Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737NG aircraft. As a means of maintaining demand during the construction period, SR Technics also confirmed it will establish a third bay from November this year located in a temporary hangar adjacent to the existing facility.
As capacity across global facilities becomes tighter, hangar expansions are becoming ever-more common. Yet the scale of SR Technics’ growth in Malta is significant in a country that has provided a consistent flow of aircraft maintenance work.
Like fellow European MRO Lufthansa Technik’s Malta operation, a major SR Technics customer in the country is U.K.-low cost carrier easyJet, which it completed its 200th aircraft for in April last year. The two parties are working under a five-year heavy maintenance contract signed in 2016 which was expanded the following year to include thrust reverser overhauls on its CFM56-powered A319s and A320s.
Its current setup in the Mediterranean country, where it has held a presence since 2010, consists of 4,300 square feet of space at its existing facility which houses a two-bay narrowbody hangar where along with heavy maintenance, it also carries out cabin modification work. In the eight years since it started operating, SR Technics’ Malta base has also since established a partnership with Aviation Cosmetics Malta for lease-end transitioning services on A320 family jets.
Employee numbers are also expected to increase from the existing 260 staff to more than 600 with plans for 350 new hires. Roles include B1 and B2 level engineers, structure mechanics and technicians.