Europe’s turboprop maintenance market has produced a significant round of consolidation after Contact Air Technik was acquired by fellow German company Rheinland Air Service (RAS).
Contact’s capabilities include heavy maintenance for the ATR42/72 and Bombardier Q400 from its two hangars at Saarbruecken Airport.
RAS offers similar services from its base at Düsseldorf-Mönchengladbach Airport.
“We are excited to add an experienced workforce and a state-of-the-art maintenance facility to our constantly growing MRO business, and we look forward to growing our strong position in, the German regional MRO market,” said Walter Lange, managing director of RAS.
Other turboprop maintenance facilities in Europe include Samco in the Netherlands, ASI Maintenance in France and Austrian Airlines’ Tyrolean Technik. This diversity is in part down to typical profile of the airlines they serve: small regional carriers that can’t afford internal MRO capabilities so outsource instead.
However, it is still a tough market and the declining popularity of the Bombardier Q400 forced Tyrolean to abandon base maintenance for the type this year.
The RAS merger follows a big purchase in the turboprop engine aftermarket, where Rolls-Royce’s long-trailed acquisition of the remaining 53% of Spanish company ITP was finally approved in December 2017.
Madrid-based ITP is an engineering and MRO provider which since 2003 has supported the PW127G for the C295 search-and-rescue aircraft and the PW123AF for the CL415 firefighting aircraft.
In 2014 it moved into repair of the ATR42/72’s PW127M repair with the purchase of Italian company Avio’s PW100 business.
ITP repaired 400 engines of all types in 2017.