Denmark’s Cimber Aviation Group has won a contract with Avions de Transport Regional to perform E Class cargo conversions for the ATR 72. Already an ATR 42 cargo converter, Cimber (Hall 3 Stand F1) will convert its first ATR 72 for Ireland’s Air Contractors. The Irish air freight company has added seven ATRs to its now nine-strong fleet over the past year.
Cimber Air Maintenance Center general manager Dave Plumpton is here in Paris to promote all of the company’s engineering, most notably heavy maintenance for the ATR and, now, the Bombardier CRJ regional jet. The company’s regional airline division, Cimber Air, operates seven Bombardier CRJ200s. Five of the 50-seat jets joined the fleet last year, when Cimber took over five routes from Maersk Air and started SAS wet-lease operations from Copenhagen Airport.
Consolidation of the Scandanavian regional airline business has turned Cimber Air into the only CRJ operator in the region, and therefore the only airline that still performs maintenance on the type. Cimber Air Maintenance Center awaits word on its recent bid for four CRJ C checks due this autumn, a contract that it hopes will boost its ability to promote its third-party business.
“Our advantage is that we fly the aircraft, too, and there is a big difference between a stand-alone MRO provider and one that is attached to an airline,” said Plumpton. A contract for two of the airplanes will come from Cimber Air itself, while the other two would involve Maersk CRJs.
Plumpton said European operators base about 115 CRJs within three hours of Cimber’s Sonderborg, Denmark facilities. About half of those airplanes, he added, aren’t under maintenance contract.
Cimber operates three bays at Sonderborg, one dedicated to line maintenance, the second to heavy maintenance and a third that performs both. The company also wants to establish two heavy maintenance bases there and expand line maintenance at Copenhagen.