Accenture to recommend MRO options for AI; SpiceJet not to ask for MRO

The civil aviation ministry has asked Accenture, the consultant for the Air India (AI)-Indian Airlines (IA) merger, to recommend various options to set up a common maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility for the merged entity. Its report is expected in four weeks.

Pre-merger, AI had tied up with Boeing for MRO support, while IA had an arrangement for airframe maintenance with Bangalore-based Jupiter Aviation. While a lot of progress has been made in the areas of coordinating work, rationalising routes, moving towards a common IT platform, and joining the Star alliance, MRO was a sticky issue, not least because of the different types of aircraft involved.

No MRO: SpiceJet
Low-cost carrier SpiceJet, on the other hand, seems to have given up its plans to set up an MRO unit for good. The carrier had been considering setting up its MRO in Delhi after plans of partnering Boeing did not take off.

According to reports, Boeing was looking for a partner for its proposed MRO venture in March 2006, and SpiceJet was among the airlines it was in talks with. The deal was almost through, except for one glitch — civil aviation minister Praful Patel insisted that Boeing set up the venture in Nagpur, while SpiceJet wanted it in Delhi.

But SpiceJet representatives deny this, saying that the airline "never had any plans of setting up an MRO", because it does not have any expertise in the field.