Portuguese airline Hi Fly has announced the completion of a new maintenance hangar, located at its base in Beja. The airline’s subsidiary, Mesa, will use the facilities to service, repair and maintain all aircraft from the Airbus family except the A220 and A380. Up to three aircraft can be housed simultaneously, and the project will eventually create around 150 jobs.
Hi Fly’s new Beja hangar opens
Portuguese wet lease specialist Hi Fly has been using Beja as its base since it started operations 15 years ago. Although the airport has no scheduled passenger flights, it’s a perfect location for parking aircraft. And now, it’s a perfect location for MRO services too.
Hi Fly subsidiary Mesa has this week revealed that its brand new maintenance hangar at Beja is completed and ready to go. The new hangar covers an area of approximately 9,500 square meters (31,167 square feet) and has been under construction for around two years.
The site includes facilities for maintenance of not only Hi Fly’s fleet, but also third party operators flying Airbus aircraft. Within the new hangar are various workshops, offices, accommodation for training and more. It will operate 24/7 for Hi Fly and other airlines that have contracts with Mesa.
Paulo Mirpuri, President of both Mesa and Hi Fly, commented on the development, saying,
“Beja is a prime location for aircraft maintenance, and with this additional capacity we hope not only to keep up with the strong growth of Hi Fly’s fleet but also to acquire new customers mainly from Europe and Africa. It’s a big project for the Group and we’re looking forward to welcoming our fleet to this fantastic facility.”
The project cost the group a sizeable €30 million ($36m) to complete, and it is hoped that the development will create some 150 jobs locally in its first three years of operation. As many as three aircraft can be worked on at any one time.
Specifically, the hangar is set up to receive and service Airbus aircraft from every family apart from the A220 and A380 – which is OK as Hi Fly no longer operates the superjumbo. Mesa can work on the A319 up to the A350 and everything in between. This includes ‘A checks,’ ‘C checks,’ cabin interior modifications and upgrades as well as engine replacement and much more.
Stay informed: Sign up for our daily aviation news digest.
The first aircraft is already in the shop
Although the company only announced this week that the hangar was completed, it seems Mesa is already putting its new workshop to good use. According to the Mayor of Beja, Paulo Arsénio, the first aircraft has already entered the hangar for a spot of line maintenance.
In a Facebook post, the Mayor announced on January 13th that an A321 belonging to Hi Fly had become the first aircraft to enter the hangar the day before. He said that,
“Having obtained the necessary licensing, following testing carried out in spring and summer 2020 by the competent aeronautical entities, the 12th January 2021 is marked in the calendar as the first aircraft for maintenance entered the hangar.”
He went on to say that, at present, the facility employs around 40 people, and was looking to swiftly recruit more. Around 10 more employees are set to join the company in February and March. The second stage of the project should be finished in 2023, and will see another 100 or so people joining the crew at the new Beja site.