The Gulf is home to more large airlines than its size and population logically require, and this means that the region is chock-full of capable MRO providers.
In the UAE, for instance, there is Emirates Engineering, Etihad Airways Engineering, and VD Gulf, a subsidiary of Russian MRO provider Volga-Dnepr Technics.
VD Gulf has operated a six-bay hangar at Sharjah Airport since 2013, but with so much local competition it has to market globally to ensure a steady revenue stream.
Last year the company expanded its EASA Part 145 certification to include base maintenance services for the Boeing 737NG and 747-400, and it has just secured Indian DGCA CAR 145 approval for maintenance and overhaul of 747-400, 737CL/NG and all Airbus A320 family aircraft.
Its 22,000m2 hangar can accommodate six narrowbodies or two widebodies simultaneously.
“Taking a step towards South Asian market is a new milestone not only for VD Gulf but for many Indian operators. Several Indian based operators have approached us for support and we can now fulfill their requirement,” said VD Gulf’s director, Mikhail Khoroshaev.
Selling narrowbody maintenance to India is a smart move: Airbus forecasts demand for 1,230 single-aisle aircraft from the country over the next 20 years, while Boeing predicts 1,560 narrowbody sales over the same period.
Both airframers estimate Indian traffic growth of around 8.5% per year through to 2035, by which time India should have become the third-largest aviation market in the world.
In the meantime, Volga-Dnepr is also strengthening its home market: Volga-Dnepr Technics Moscow (VDTM) plans to increase headcount by more than a third this year and expand its line stations across Russia.