Tuesday, February 23, 2010

India’s Air Works Engineering Picks Up Stake In Paint Company


Aviation Daily Feb 23 , 2010 , p. 11
Neelam Mathews

Air Works Engineering, which has India’s only EASA-approved MRO facility with approvals for Boeing 737 and ATR42/72 aircraft and soon for the Airbus A320, has picked up an 85% stake in Air Livery, U.K.

The two companies had announced a 50-50 joint venture in 2008, which this year was boosted to 85% by Air Works to provide dedicated aircraft painting services at its MRO facilities at Hosur Airport in Bengaluru (formerly Bangalore) with a view to serve the entire Asia-Pacific region.

In late 2007, New York-based private investment firm Global Technology Investment and India’s construction company Punj Lloyd each bought a 33% stake in Air Works India, one of the oldest family-owned MROs in India.

“We as a family cannot be a family business forever. While this is not a complete buyout, this will expand opportunities for us in India,” said Ravi Menon, director of Air Works.

The acquisition will make Air Works India’s first dedicated paint facility for commercial, VIP, executive and military aircraft. It will also provide access to Air Livery’s international customers for cross-selling of MRO services in India. Air Livery, which works alongside MROs such as KLM, Iberia, GAMCO, SR Technics and ATC, has a long list of airline customers that include Emirates, Austrian Airlines, Aeroflot, Saudi Arabian Airlines, Air Atlanta, Air Berlin, Qatar Airways, Malaysian Airways, Swiss International, Etihad, Virgin Atlantic, KLM and Alitalia.

Air Livery has three paint facilities based at Norwich Airport with capacity up to the 757-300; one based at London Southend Airport with capacity up to the 757-200; one at East Midlands Airport with capacity up to the A321; and a widebody facility at Manchester, Bristol, with capacity up to the A340 and 747-400. All its facilities provide full JAR/EASA/FAA-approved engineering.

Air Works is in the process of building a widebody hangar at its Hosur facility to be dedicated to aircraft painting. The facility will be up by yearend or early 2011, said Menon.

Painting a five-year-old narrowbody aircraft costs between $60,000 and $100,000, depending on the kind of paint used. It takes on average one to two weeks to paint a narrowbody.

There are more than 500 business aircraft (fixed and rotary) and 350 aircraft owned by airlines in India. The dedicated hi-tech paint hangar in India will tap Southeast Asia and the Middle East because of India’s strategic geographic position, which gives the company an advantage. “We will take the hospital to the patient,” said Menon.

The company expects to earn annual revenues of $8 million-$10 million a year once fully operational.

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