| By Leithen Francis email@example.com |
| Thai carrier Nok Air is pushing maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) companies to set up shop in Thailand.|
“We’re now working on getting a MRO provider for the Boeing 737-800s” and are encouraging those short-listed to do the work in Thailand, says Nok CEO, Patee Sarasin, referring to the airline’s future fleet of jet aircraft. The short-listed companies are: Air France Industries, Lufthansa Technik and Boeing, says Patee.
He says some of those short-listed firms have suggested doing the work in Malaysia or China. But having the MRO work done in Thailand will provide 15-20% cost savings, says Patee.
Nok has a fleet of 10 Boeing 737-400s and two ATR 72-200s and handles line maintenance in-house. For heavy maintenance, it has been relying on Thai Airways International’s technical arm and on Air France Industries.
Patee says Nok is now speaking to GE Capital Aviation Services about securing operating leases on 737-800s. There are very few 737-800s available for lease so it appears likely Nok will have to wait until November 2012 before adding the first aircraft, says Patee.
Nok is also in the market to lease ATR 72-500s and is hopeful it can secure leases on two to three before year-end, he says. Nok had earlier said it wanted ATR 72-200s to ensure commonality with its first two aircraft. But he says it has since decided on ATR 72-500s, because these newer model aircraft are more technologically advanced and quieter.
Thai Airways International owns 39% of Nok and is currently trying to buy Krung Thai Bank’s 10% stake in Nok so it can have more management control. Patee has been operating the business independent of Thai.
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Friday, February 18, 2011
Feb 16, 2011