Union Transport Minister Nitin Gadkari on Saturday said aircraft manufacturing major Boeing, which had invested USD 100 million in Air India’s Maintenance Repair Overhaul (MRO) facility here, has disassociated itself with the MRO citing financial constraints.
Gadkari, along with Air India CEO HR Jagannath, visited the MRO facility and took stock of the progress work.
He said the facility, being developed in the Special Economic Zone (SEZ) of Multi Modal International Passenger and Cargo Hub in Nagpur (MIHAN), will soon start its operations of maintenance of Air India aircraft.
Boeing had entered into a joint venture (JV) with Air India for setting up and operating the MRO but it will now only be an Air India show.
Gadkari said the entire MRO will be managed by Air India where wide-bodied aircraft will also be taken for maintenance.
The facility was tested last month and all necessary approval from DGCA and authorities concerned were taken.
He said Air India’s trained engineers and other staff will be positioned in Nagpur for carrying out repairs.
Prime Minister Narendra Modi and Union Minister for Civil Aviation Gajpati Raju are likely to be invited for the formal inauguration.
Jagannath said the Boeing aircraft of Indigo go to Sri Lanka while Jet’s go to Dubai for maintenance and repairs.
In due course, these private airlines may opt for Nagpur MRO. This will certainly cut their maintenance expenses abroad, he said.
"Our talks with other private airlines for diverting their aircraft for maintenance facility to Nagpur are in progress," Jagannath added.
The MRO has state-of-the-art facility and sliding doors of hangars are imported from Germany, Gadkari added.