MRO AMERICAS: VivaAerobus, AJW Aviation in component support deal

Mexico’s VivaAerobus has rid itself of a headache, according to CEO Juan Carlos Zuazua, who signed a deal with AJ Walter Aviation to take over component support for the carrier’s fleet of Boeing 737-300s.

“This is one less headache,” he told Low Fare and Regional Airlines at the contract signing at MRO Americas in Miami Beach. “We are leaving our maintenance to the experts so we can concentrate on our core business.”

The five-year-old airline hopes to add another four aircraft to its fleet by the end of the year for its 62 routes which include 60 domestic markets as well as Monterrey–Houston and Monterrey–Las Vegas.

Zuazua indicated that it is VivaAerobus’s job to increase the domestic market from the current total of 24 million annual passengers. He pointed to the 2.4 billion passengers annually using bus services within the country and indicated he wants to grow the airline share. VivaAerobus flew 2.5 million passengers last year and expects to fly 3.2 million this year, depending on what happens to fuel prices. Since its inception, the airline has flown seven million passengers.

“We have been impressed by both the AJ Walter team and the commercial flexibility of the proposal we received,” ZuaZua told those assembled at Booth 2407 for the signing ceremony. “We are confident that we will receive a world class support services from AJW to ensure the punctuality and on-time performance of our airline fleet.”

The CEO also indicated that when Mexicana went belly up, its competitors raised prices, making the VivaAerobus role in the country even more important for increasing the airline market share of the inter-city transportation.

The airline has three bases – Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey, an industrial town that is home to a growing aviation manufacturing base.

VivaAerobus, established in association with Irelandia, the global investor and developer of low-fare airlines, will use AJ Walter Aviation to provide component power-by-the-hour support for its current fleet. The airline expects to increase its 15-aircraft fleet to 19 by year-end and add 11 more for a total of 30 by 2013.

The aircraft will be supported from AJ Walter’s Miami-based operation which includes a significant service-ready Boeing component inventory. The company recently invested more than $25 million in inventory to support an increasing number of operators and MRO facilities across the Americas, including a significant A320/A330 capability from its Los Angeles facilities.

Kathryn Creedy, US correspondent, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Miami, FL, USA

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