Philippines carrier Cebu Pacific is starting construction of a new heavy maintenance hangar at Clark International Airport (also known as Diosdado Macapagal International Airport). The facility, which is a joint venture with SIA Engineering (SIAEC), is due to open later this year, according to Garry Kingshott, advisor to the airline’s chief executive, who spoke with AIN at the Low Cost Airlines Asia conference here in Singapore last week.
The joint venture, known as SIA Engineering (Philippines), is 65 percent owned by SIAEC, with Cebu Pacific controlling the rest. The present narrowbody hangar accommodates single-aisle aircraft with capabilities including scheduled heavy maintenance checks, airframe structural inspections, repairs, modifications, paint-stripping, painting of aircraft exteriors and nondestructive testing checks.
“Engineering and maintenance are the second largest costs after fuel, and need to be managed,” said Kingshott. SIA Engineering (Philippines) plans to build three hangars that will span 290,000 sq ft when completed.
With space at Singapore’s Changi International Airport at a premium, the facility–which is located within 15 minutes’ flight time of Manila’s Ninoy Aquino International Airport and within four flight hours of major north Asian markets such as China, Korea, Japan and Hong Kong–is expected to offer a lower-cost maintenance alternative for airlines. Current clients include Mandala Airlines, Tiger Air and AirPhil.