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KCI overhaul base operator lands work on Southwest Airlines planes

KCI overhaul base operator Aviation Technical Services said Southwest Airlines, which operates 67 daily nonstops from KCI to 26 destinations, has signed a three-year contract.
KCI overhaul base operator Aviation Technical Services said Southwest Airlines, which operates 67 daily nonstops from KCI to 26 destinations, has signed a three-year contract. The Associated Press

The aircraft overhaul base at Kansas City International Airport has landed Southwest Airlines as its newest client.

Base operator Aviation Technical Services said Southwest, which operates 67 daily nonstops from KCI to 26 destinations, has signed a three-year contract. Maintenance work will begin later this year, said ATS, based in Everett, Wash.

The financial terms were not disclosed.

Southwest is the fourth carrier under contract by ATS for repair work at the Kansas City base, which reopened earlier this year. ATS also has deals with Hawaiian Airlines, Air Canada and UTair Aviation, one of Russia’s largest airlines.

ATS said Southwest is one of its longtime customers. The maintenance company works on Southwest’s planes at its base in Everett.

“We’ve worked with Southwest at our Everett location for what will be 40 years in January and are looking forward to serving them in Kansas City,” Matt Yerbic, ATS’s president and chief executive, said in a statement. “Over our tenured partnership, ATS has redelivered many Southwest jets after performing modifications, repair, overhaul or engineering services.”

Southwest provides the most service at KCI.

The massive overhaul base served for many years as the primary maintenance facility for Trans World Airlines and other carriers under a contract with the city. TWA was acquired by American Airlines in 2001, and the base closed in 2010.

ATS has said it plans to employ 540 workers and 40 contract employees for the facility in three to five years. It said the operation eventually could grow to 1,000 jobs. The company is the largest aircraft maintenance provider on the West Coast.

The Kansas City operation employed more than 70 technicians and support workers as of late July, when it formally opened. ATS did not provide an updated employee count Tuesday.

To reach Steve Rosen, call 816-234-4879 or send email to srosen@kcstar.com.

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