Saturday, 20 May 2017

LITHUANIA: Ryanair Investment In Aircraft Maintenance

The Irish low cost carrier Ryanair is expanding its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) base in Kaunas, Lithuania. The transport industry giant is planning to invest around €250,000 into expanding the facilities of its maintenance unit, Kaunas Aircraft Maintenance Services (KAMS), which is located at Kaunas International Airport.

According to KAMS’s accountable manager, Karolis Čepukas, a range of new workshops will be opened at the facility thanks to this new investment. “This year, the expected volume of airframe maintenance and aircraft components in Kaunas is increasing,” says Mr Čepukas, “so it was decided to open additional workshops for aircraft components within our existing hangars.

We are opening workshops for repairing aircraft airstairs, filling oxygen cylinders, and working on metal and composite parts. In addition, we will be hiring additional aircraft airframe technicians, he explains.

The company expects its turnover to jump 20 % this year, and is planning a 30% increase in the number of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul specialists it employs. After the expansion, around 140 specialists will be employed at the facility.

KAMS’s growth is closely related to the continued expansion of Ryanair’s fleet; by 2020 the company will be operating in excess of 500 aircraft. And in this context of continued strong growth, KAMS is optimistic that in the future new hangars for aircraft refinishing and other maintenance activities could be opened at the Kaunas facility.

Lithuania’s aviation industry has the potential to continue growing in the future thanks to recent reforms to the study programmes provided by Lithuanian higher education institutions, which were proposed by the industry and supported by Invest Lithuania.

Aviation companies operating in the Kaunas region will provide Aviation Engineering students at Kaunas University of Technology (KTU) with the opportunity to accumulate more practical experience during their studies. In their third year, students will be able to do a full year internship at one of the many aircraft maintenance and repair organisations participating in the scheme.

This will enable graduates to have at least 1 year of experience, thus meeting internationally recognised EASA requirements. Further initiatives by education institutions will mean study programs can be certified as meeting EASA basic training requirements.

These steps mean companies will acquire well-trained technicians, and will lower the investment companies need to make, as the theory part of their training would be partially covered by government funding.

Boeing and Ryanair celebrated the delivery today of the airline’s 450th Next-Generation 737-800. This significant milestone has been reached in less than two decades, with the Irish low-cost carrier taking an average delivery of 25 737-800s per year since 1999.

Ryanair is proud to partner with Boeing and has operated an all-Boeing fleet since 1994, said Ryanair’s Chief Operations Officer, Mick Hickey.

Our current order of 737-800s and the 737-MAX 200 ‘Gamechanger’ will allow us to grow our fleet to 585 aircraft and our passenger numbers to 200 million per annum by 2024, maintaining our position as Europe’s largest, and greenest and cleanest airline.

With more than 80 unfilled orders for Next-Generation 737-800s, Ryanair is also the launch customer for the 737 MAX 200, with 100 unfilled orders.

The 737 MAX 200 can accommodate up to 200 seats, increasing revenue potential and providing airlines with up to 20 percent better fuel efficiency per seat than today’s most efficient single-aisle airplanes.

Ryanair has consistently demonstrated the outstanding economic, reliability and safety capabilities of the Next-Generation 737-800, using this airplane as the foundation to become one of the biggest airlines in the world, said Monty Oliver, vice president, European Sales, Boeing Commercial Airplanes.

To deliver the 450th 737-800 is truly a significant milestone in both companies shared history and we look forward to supporting Ryanair on the next phase of its incredible journey with the introduction of the 737 MAX 200.

Ryanair carried 119 million passengers last year with 1,800 daily flights to more than 200 destinations. The Dublin based carrier is the largest 737-800 customer in the world and the largest Boeing operator in Europe.