Air Calédonie is developing an internal MRO capacity

The New Caledonian national airline, Air Calédonie, has developed its internal MRO (maintenance, repair and overhaul) capability to perform heavy maintenance checks of the ATR fleet at its main base, thus avoiding the costs and delays of ferrying its planes abroad. “Restrictions on international flights have made it more difficult for airlines to transport planes overseas for heavy maintenance checks, so some airlines in Asia-Pacific have been working to develop their internal MRO capability,” said Alessandro Luzi, Managing Director of ATR Eastern Support.

Air Calédonie, based in Noumea, the capital of New Caledonia, is a notable example, says Luzi, adding that the airline, which operates a fleet of four ATR 72-600s, recently carried out its first “C-check “on an ATR 72-600. The airline previously outsourced heavy maintenance to the ATR 72-600 overseas. The airline, however, is not new to the task, as before upgrading its fleet to ATR 72-600s it performed heavy maintenance on its previous fleet of ATR 72-500s.

“When Air Calédonie decided to carry out its own heavy maintenance checks on its ATR 72-600s, we were there to support them. We helped them with full spare parts support, maintenance manuals, technical data and technical advice, ”says Luzi. “The documentation you need to perform a heavy maintenance check is enormous, so we helped the airline’s maintenance team digest and go through all of the documentation. “

While some airlines fly less, due to the pandemic, the demand for heavy maintenance continues to exist. “Airlines want to take advantage of any downtime to complete maintenance work,” says Luzi.

Air Caledonie CEO Samuel Hnepeune said: “I am very proud of our technical team for the success of our first ATR 72-600 maintenance check. Immediately afterwards another C check was due to start, so our technicians are currently working on our second ATR 72-600 maintenance check.

“Air Calédonie is able to manage such a project thanks to our highly qualified team, our infrastructures and our European Aviation Safer Agency (EASA) certification for heavy maintenance of ATR 72-600s”, declares Hnepeune. “In the near future, we may be providing heavy maintenance services to other ATR operators in the Pacific region. This has been an important project for a long time for several years and it is becoming a reality now, ”adds Hnepeune.

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