September 25, 2013
CSA Czech Airlines Technics is seeking to add ATR and/or Embraer to its landing gear maintenance capabilities in order to improve utilization of its facilities at Prague Airport, while minimizing new investment. It is currently certified to maintain Boeing 737 Classic and NG landing gear.
Expanding the capability to accommodate Airbus A320 landing gear would require a major investment, but this is not possible given the ongoing restructuring of CSA group; hence it is considering the move into regional aircraft landing gear maintenance, according to Martin Mencl, Czech Airlines Technics’ deputy director of marketing and sales. Czech Airlines Technics has already been forced to downsize; some 120 employees were let go, and it also closed one of its four bases for heavy maintenance. About 40% of its base maintenance work is for CSA Czech Airlines, which has reduced its fleet and network as part of a restructuring plan to return it to profitability.
Korean Air recently took a stake in its Czech SkyTeam partner, but this has not yet resulted in any cooperation on the MRO side, Mencl notes, adding that being part of SkyTeam has not translated into additional work from member airlines. However, the company’s third-party base maintenance work is stable, and the two bays dedicated to third-party work are 85% booked through April, he says.