September 24, 2013
The MRO subsidiary of Egyptair Holding is seeking to double revenue from third-party customers to 50% of total sales, and has won two contracts to help achieve that goal.
From Oct. 1, Egyptair Maintenance & Overhaul will perform the line maintenance for Qatar Airways’ 28 weekly flights at Cairo International Airport, taking over from Lufthansa Technik. And starting Nov. 1, it will take care of line maintenance for the twice-daily flights of Gulf Air at the same airport.
The MRO provider also is in advanced talks with two major Middle Eastern carriers for line maintenance contracts.
“We see line maintenance as a first step in the door,” says Tarek Ghoneim, marketing and maintenance contract director at Egyptair Maintenance & Overhaul. The company is selling mainly line and base maintenance—its two core activities—to third parties, and sees the Middle East, Africa and Europe as its “natural” market to win third-party business.
Egyptair Maintenance & Overhaul asserts that the current cost pressures on European airlines provide an opportunity to expand its market. “We are typically a low-cost maintenance, repair and overhaul provider because labor rates in Egypt are very low. We believe we can help European operators achieve cost savings on their MRO expense,” says International Sales Director Bernard Gauchet.
Third-party revenue has more than doubled since 2006, when Egyptair Maintenance & Overhaul achieved European Aviation Safety Agency Part 145 certification, and the number of customers has grown to about 130 from 40. The airline’s subsidiary is approved as a repair station by the Egyptian Civil Aviation Authority, the FAA and another 16 civil aviation authorities, mainly from Middle Eastern countries, but also Russia.
Total revenue, too, has doubled, owing to the growth of Egyptair’s fleet.
Ghoneim admits that the political and social unrest in Egypt has affected business. Several airlines were banned from operating to Egypt, and this reduced Egyptair Maintenance & Overhaul’s line maintenance activity at the country’s airports serving tourist destinations.
Some customers also stopped sending their aircraft to Cairo for scheduled base maintenance work, “but business is returning to normal levels. We have very positive signs for next winter’s schedule,” Ghoneim tells Aviation Week on the sidelines of MRO Europe London. He insists the dip in business was “not very huge, and the workshops remained fully operational during the unrest.”