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SA Express becomes authorised service facility for Bombardier

Posted 18 November 2012 · Add Comment

South African Express Airways has become the first authorised Bombardier service facility on the African continent.

The authorisation was announced  ahead of a welcome party at the African Airline Association (AFRAA), annual assembly in Johannesburg.

The South African regional carrier will carry out A, B and C checks as well as on-wing engine repairs for CRJ100, CRJ200 and CRJ700 regional jets, as well as the turboprop Q400 and other Dash 8/Q-Series aircraft.

Speaking at the event, Bombardier’s regional vice president, sales, Raphael Haddad, said the Canadian manufacturer has almost 100 of its aircraft in operation in Africa.

Almost a quarter of these are in operation with South African Express which operates a fleet of 15 CRJ200 and CRJ700 regional jets and nine Q400 turboprops. The airline employs a full-time staff of approximately 300 maintenance technicians performing both light and heavy maintenance work within a 10,000 square-metre (107,640 square-foot) maintenance hangar and support infrastructure facilities across their base of operations.

For Ramon Vahed, the general manager, of aircraft maintenance and engineering and fleet development, for SA Express, the authorisation was the culmination of two years hard work in achieving the standards.  “We needed to change the mindset of a lot of people, but it is worth it.

“Third party work is a small part of our group activities but there are a lot of opportunities. We are extremely proud of this achievement and I am sincerely grateful for all of the efforts and commitment of the stakeholders involved that have culminated in this accolade. Achieving the ASF status will prove to be a significant milestone for the airline and our shareholders and will provide operators in the region with improved access to a sustainable, cost-effective and high-quality local maintenance support service."

SA Express CEO Inati Ntshanga said the authorisation would help the Johannesburg MRO service “build critical mass and reduce cost.”

He also suggested that another approval could be imminent.

“It is important to be developing industry like this,” he said. “There is an opportunity to keep African money in Africa.”

 

 

 

Right: SA Express CEO Inati Ntshanga

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