BA Engineering's paint bay at Heathrow is large enough to accommodate a Boeing 747 or two A319s at the same time, allowing it to perform the majority of the painting alongside its existing schedule.
The first aircraft was in the paint bay at Heathrow for nine days, starting on May 16, and the 13 others subsequently for as many as seven days. Between June and December, the airline MRO repainted 2-5 per month, with the final aircraft leaving the paint bay on Jan. 2.
The third and final phase was the transfer of the aircraft's Continuing Airworthiness Management Organization (CAMO) records to BA at a rate of around two per week between August and December. “Structuring the integration like this allowed us the flexibility to plan the AOC cutover, cabin retrofit and paint inputs without the complex preparation for the CAMO transfer,” Davison tells Aviation Week. “The CAMO transfers could then be completed toward the end of the process.”
With the BMI fleet now fully integrated, BA has 112 A320-family aircraft in service. The A319s and A320s are flying short-haul routes from Heathrow Terminal 1 to destinations including Dusseldorf, Germany; Toulouse and Lyon in France; Belfast, Northern Ireland; and Leeds, England. The two-class A321s fly to mid-haul destinations including Tel Aviv, Israel; Cairo; Almaty, Kazakhstan; and Baku, Azerbaijan. Heavy maintenance checks on these aircraft will be handled by BA Maintenance Glasgow, Scotland.
BMI's East Midlands base closed after the cabin retrofits and painting were completed.
Tap on the icon in the digital edition of AW&ST for a detailed time line of the BMI fleet integration, or go to AviationWeek.com/bmi