Aviation Technical Services lands KCI maintenance contract with Russian airline

05/07/2014 2:45 PM

05/07/2014 11:53 PM

Aviation Technical Services has landed a contract with a Russian airline to provide maintenance services at the KCI overhaul base.

The firm, also known as ATS, said Wednesday it is working on eight Boeing 767-200 aircraft operated by UTair Aviation, one of Russia’s largest airlines. It’s the first contract by ATS for maintenance work at the KCI facility.

The work began May 1, said Nicole Allard, an ATS spokeswoman at its Everett, Wash., headquarters. The financial terms were not disclosed.

ATS said the maintenance program involves modifying the 170-passenger aircraft to a 255-passenger configuration. The company also will service the aircraft based on UTair’s maintenance schedule.

“We are proud to have this opportunity to support UTair, and we look forward to growing our relationship over the coming years,” Matt Yerbic, president and chief executive of ATS, said in a statement.

UTair, which said it ranks among Russia’s top three airlines, operates more than 150 aircraft and serves 110 destinations in Russia and elsewhere. In 2013, the carrier flew nearly 10 million passengers. The carrier’s central hub is at Vnukovo International Airport in Moscow.

Oleg Semenov, president of UTair’s passenger air service, said the Boeing reconfiguration project is significant. “It’s a move designed to make UTair’s long-haul fleet more versatile and effective,” Semenov said. “The refitted aircraft will expand our market presence on the tourist travel market and make air travel more affordable to our passengers.”

Last December, ATS announced plans to lease the 607,000-square-foot KCI Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul base and invest $7 million in it. The company has hired 64 employees so far, Allard said.

ATS had said it expected to hire 540 employees and 40 contract workers for the facility in three to five years. It said the operation eventually could grow to 1,000 jobs.

The overhaul base at KCI was the longtime maintenance facility for TWA and other airlines under contracts with Kansas City. When American Airlines bought TWA in 2001, the base employed 2,600 people. But the workforce was down to about 500 by the time American closed the facility in 2010.

ATS is the largest maintenance, repair and overhaul provider on the West Coast. The KCI operation is the company’s first outside Washington state.

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