(from left to right): - Director General of Sharjah Airport Authority, H.E. Ali Salim Al Midfa - Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Essam Al Qasimi - Senior Vice President of Volga-Dnepr Group, Sergey Shklyanik - Chairman Sharjah Airport Authority ,and H.E. Dr. Ghanem Mohammed Al Hajri
Volga-Dnepr Group has officially launched its new aircraft maintenance hangar facility at Sharjah International Airport in the UAE with an official opening ceremony for senior aviation industry officials.
The event on April 18th was attended by the Chairman Sharjah Airport Authority, H.E. Dr. Ghanem Mohammed Al Hajri, the Director General of Sharjah Airport Authority, H.E. Ali Salim Al Midfa, the Director General of the Department of Civil Aviation, H.E. Sheikh Khalid bin Essam Al Qasimi, Senior Vice President of Volga-Dnepr Group, Sergey Shklyanik, and Viktor Sherin, Managing director of Volga-Dnepr Gulf Company.
The hangar complex construction and commissioning was carried out by Volga-Dnepr Gulf Company, the maintenance, repair and overhaul provider which represents the Volga-Dnepr Technics subgroup in the Middle East. The opening ceremony followed the awarding of Operations Approval for the hangar by Sharjah’s Department of Civil Aviation, confirming that Volga-Dnepr Gulf has successfully completed the required hangar safety procedures and is ready to provide aircraft maintenance, component repair and overhaul services.
The 22.000 sq. mt hangar has the capacity to accommodate up to six narrow-body aircraft or two Boeing 747s or An-124-100s at the same time.
Volga-Dnepr Group’s business in the UAE began in 1992 when its aircraft carried out their first operations into the region. Since then, the Group’s fleet has successfully operated over 4,000 flights through the UAE. In 1996, Volga-Dnepr Airlines was the first Russian company to establish a line maintenance base in the UAE.
“In 2007, we took a strategic decision to extend our MRO business in the UAE and to construct a new hangar complex on the territory of Sharjah Airport with a capital expenditure for the construction of US$26 million. With the completion of this new facility, we will have established a network of approved maintenance bases in 9 airports of the world and two of these, in Sharjah and Leipzig, have an overall area of 30.000 sq. mts,” Sergey Shklyanik told guests at the opening ceremony.
Volga-Dnepr Gulf plans to expand the range of aircraft it can service in Sharjah. In 2013 a composite materials and aircraft metal structure maintenance workshop will be commissioned and the company will also offer line maintenance technical diagnostics and non-destructive testing. By 2014, Volga-Dnepr Gulf will be ready to provide periodical maintenance services of Russian and western-built aircraft up to C-check as well as providing services for Boeing 777 cl and Airbus A330 aircraft.
External customers will provide 90% of the workload for the Sharjah hangar complex and the remaining 10% will be used to provide maintenance services for Volga-Dnepr Group aircraft. In 2013, the servicing of western-manufactured aircraft will constitute only 20% of work but by 2015, Volga-Dnepr Gulf plans to focus mainly on providing maintenance services for western-manufactured aircraft.
Viktor Sherin said: “Our experience tells us that it is very beneficial for aircraft operators to have maintenance bases which are located within their route networks and operational areas. By providing a full range of maintenance services, we can help airlines to reduce their expenditure for transfers, lower aircraft downtime costs and maintain the required level of flight safety. The establishment of our new hangar complex will attract new customers not only to Sharjah Airport but to other airports in the UAE as well. We believe it will also strengthen cooperation between the aviation associations of the Russian Federation and the UAE.”