Etihad Airways, the national carrier of the UAE, has opened a line maintenance base at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, the airline’s seventh outside Abu Dhabi and its first in the US.
The new facility is equipped with the latest technology and will perform all scheduled and non-scheduled line maintenance for Etihad Airways’ daily Boeing 777 aircraft flying into Chicago from the UAE capital.
The new base will also provide line maintenance services for airberlin’s new Airbus A330-operated Chicago flights. Airberlin, the second largest airline in Germany and a partner of Etihad Airways, begins its three weekly nonstop Berlin-Chicago services on March 23, rising to five a week in summer 2013.
James Hogan, President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of Etihad Airways, said: “Extending our new Chicago line maintenance facility to airberlin, is another excellent example of the value of our strategic partnership, enabling both carriers to achieve greater technical and cost synergies.”
“As partners, it makes operational and commercial sense to work together on issues such as common maintenance, and we expect the synergies and efficiencies we achieve through this specific integration to deliver tangible benefits for both our businesses,” he added.
Wolfgang Prock-Schauer, CEO of airberlin, said: "Airberlin and Etihad Airways have been working together successfully since the beginning of their partnership in December 2011 and, by taking a joint approach, they are always able to find new ways to continue expanding the synergy potential associated with this cooperation.”
“The cooperation between airberlin and Etihad Airways in the area of line maintenance has already proven its worth. This arrangement sees airberlin maintain the aircraft of Etihad Airways as part of its line maintenance activities at its technical locations in Dusseldorf and Munich and, in return, Etihad Airways maintains the airberlin Airbus A330 in Abu Dhabi.” he added.
Etihad Airways is deploying a team of Abu Dhabi-trained line maintenance aircraft engineers to be based at the new Chicago facility, with additional engineering support provided by Chicago-based aircraft maintenance provider, Flightcheck.
The maintenance services to be performed in Chicago will include transit, daily and weekly checks, scheduled engineering services, and fault repairs for aircraft systems and cabin issues.
In addition to extending line maintenance services to airberlin, Etihad Airways will also offer full technical handling for at least one other carrier.
Etihad Airways’ existing line maintenance facilities are in Dublin, Lahore, London-Heathrow, Manchester, Melbourne and Sydney.
Photo: Juang Yichen; Planespotters