Deccan, Kingfisher will set up an MRO

Air Deccan, now renamed Deccan, and Kingfisher Airlines, whose owner, the UB Group also owns a 26-per cent stake in Deccan, have decided to set up a joint maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility with a foreign partner. This is intended to take care of the two airlines'' own requirements as well as to perform for third party maintenance for other airlines.

Deccan Aviation executive chairman Capt G R Gopinath announced this during the airline''s re-branding function in Mumbai on Sunday 28 October. "We want Lufthansa and British Airways to send their aircraft to our MRO, so that India can emerge as the aviation capital of the world," said an ebullient Gopinath.

The MRO is expected to come up at Bangalore by next year. Investment levels are yet to be finalised, but it will have hangers at a number of destinations. Discussions to secure an overseas partner are at an advanced stage. The MRO will be a separate company and all the maintenance assets of Deccan and Kingfisher will be spun up into the new entity, said Deccan''s deputy COO (technical) Nick White.

Deccan has hangers at Chennai and Kolkota airports, while Kingfisher''s maintenance facility is located at Bangalore. There is also space available at the new greenfield airport coming up at Bangalore. The proposed MRO will have assets at the all these locations.

Kingfisher Airlines has a MoU with the Abu Dhabi-based Gulf Aircraft Maintenance (Gamco) to set up a MRO, and the company may be roped in for this new venture. But several others are in the race too.

The Deccan-Kingfisher combined fleet strength is 75 aircraft, with 100 more on order. Both airlines want to make Bangalore their hub, making it an ideal location for the proposed MRO.