Hyderabad: Close on the heels of German carrier Lufthansa pulling out of joint venture with GMR Hyderabad International Airport Ltd (GHIAL) for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Hyderabad, GHIAL has on Wednesday signed a fresh agreement with Malaysian Airlines for MRO facility.
Earlier in April last year, Lufthansa’s technical support arm Lufthansa Technik had entered into an agreement with GMR group to set up a $20 million MRO facility at the new airport in Hyderabad. While Lufthansa was to hold 75% in the venture, GMR proposed to pick the balance.
However, citing unfavorable market conditions and rising oil prices in June this year, Lufthansa’ arm has decided to pull out of the venture, saying that it would revisit the MRO business in India at a later stage.
In a statement here on Wednesday, GMR company said the latest arrangement with Malaysian Airlines is aimed at capitalizing on the fast growing aviation market in the Indian sub-continent which currently has some 300 aircraft in operations. More than 200 new aircraft are headed for India in the next two years, while 2,000 more planes are expected in the next 8-10 years, the company said.
The new agreement was signed in Malaysia’s Subang city by the Malaysia Airlines’ executive director and chief financial officer, Tengku Azmil Zahruddin, and GMR Group chairman - airports, Kiran Kumar Grandhi.
However, a GHIAL spokesman said details on the investments, equipment partnership and schedule of implementation for the MRO facility were not yet decided.
Though all the narrow and wide body aircraft requires maintenance, the current MRO providers in India are unable to cope with the requirements, said Tengku Azmil. The proposed MRO centre plans to handle all types of aircraft from light jets to super-jumbos such as the A380.
“Currently, most of the aircraft are sent to Malaysia and other MRO providers overseas for heavy maintenance. As such, we will be able to capitalize on these opportunities and position the JV company as a leading MRO player in the sub-continent,” said Tengku Azmil.
The proposed MRO facility, being strategically located within close proximity to the three main cities of New Delhi, Mumbai and Chennai, is expected to make the Hyderabad airport an integrated aviation facility for its key business partners, said P.S. Nair, GHIAL chief executive officer.