Boeing, Air India MRO to be ready by late 2011

Dinesh KeskarBoeing will commence construction of a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre at the central Indian city of Nagpur, which it will operate as a joint venture with Air India. Boeing India president Dinesh Keskar said construction will commence in the fourth quarter of this year, after selecting a winning bid from a tender to be soon issued to construction firms.

Keskar was speaking to the media on the sidelines of the IATA meet in Kuala Lumpur. 

He said Boeing India was currently engaged in drawing up tender documents for issue to prospective firms. Selection of the winning firm would take place well in advance so as to allow construction to commence in the fourth quarter of this year, with a completion target of late 2011.

According to Keskar, two aircraft hangars will be constructed with each one capable of accommodating one Boeing 747.

This MRO, he said, would focus on heavy maintenance work for wide-bodies, such as Boeing 777s and 787s. It would not seek to serve narrow-bodies as Air India already has a MRO to take care of such aircraft.

The MRO JV is part of the industrial offset agreement with Air India consequent to the signing of a massive order for 27 Boeing 787s, 23 Boeing 777s and 18 Boeing 737-800s in December 2005.

The order was the largest commercial aircraft order in India's civil aviation history.

Boeing has had a traditional presence in the Indian market, which it now shares with European rival Airbus.