Buddha Air now open for MRO services
September 06, 2016 – Kathmandu
For the first time in Nepal, a private airliner in Nepal, Buddha Air has been approved to provide Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) operations for ATR series and Beechcraft series aircraft within its world class closed door hangar facility at Tribhuvan International Airport.
The approval for license was made on a minister level meeting conducted last Sunday. The airline will need to require an operation certificate from Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) soon after which it will be ready to welcome any aircraft form national to international sector for MRO services inside its hangar. Buddha Air is positive towards its business from MRO as the number of ATR aircraft around South Asian region is large according to Upendra Lal Shrestha, senior Quality Assurance engineer at Buddha Air. He also added that manpower of total of 146 technical personnel would be working to provide MRO services form the hangar.
Recently an ATR aircraft from NOVOAir visited Buddha hangar for MRO services and soon it is planning to sign agreement with Druk Air from Bhutan. NOVOAir accomplished a successful maintenance before leaving the hangar. The company estimates a cost around USD30,000 to USD100,000 to complete a MRO service and can schedule seven to eight aircraft annually. The future addition of two regional international airports and upcoming fleet brings a positive anticipation to the company to expand their business according to a Tourism Ministry official.
Buddha Air’s state-of-the-art closed door hangar is a Civil Aviation Authority of Nepal (CAAN) approved NCAR 145 maintenance organization that stands as a pride of not only Buddha Air, but Tribhuvan International Airport (TIA) as well. The hangar is the first of its kind in Nepal, and among a very few in South Asia. This hangar facility was built inside the premises of the only international airport of Nepal. It covers an area of 37,000 square feet and is built at a cost of US$ 2.5 million. The hangar houses aircraft spares inventory worth up to US$ 9.3 million and the Technical and Operations Department. It has the capacity to accommodate an Airbus 320 or Boeing 737 series aircraft. So in future it can expand its MRO services to these jet aircraft.
Presently, India is providing MRO services to majority of airlines in South Asia but the airliners are still visiting other countries like Singapore due to cost benefits. So Buddha Air has strategic location benefit and lower labor cost will reduce some cost for the operation.