MAAS Aviation, recognised experts in aircraft painting and exterior coatings, has opened a new purpose-built paint shop at Kaunas Airport (KUN). The facility, which is the first of its kind in Lithuania, grows MAAS Aviation’s global footprint to eleven best-in-class paint shops and increases their overall MRO capacity in Europe by 40%. Designed to achieve the highest industry quality standards, the facility features the very latest technologies, including systems to ensure safe and secure operations and to manage the environmental impact of the Company’s activities.
Following a multi-million Euro investment by MAAS Aviation, the ultra-modern Lithuanian facility is a twin-bay narrow body paint shop capable of accommodating up to two A321 sized aircraft simultaneously. All MAAS Aviation facilities are certified to EN9100, ISO9001 and ISO14001 standards and the Kaunas shop will operate to these standards from the outset.
According to Tim Macdougald, CEO of MAAS Aviation, the central/eastern European location of Kaunas was chosen as a result of several influencing factors. “It was the universal willingness of the Lithuanian authorities to bring a new industry to Lithuania” says Macdougald. “I’d particularly like to mention Invest Lithuania and the Airport Authority of Lithuania for supporting a project that spearheads the development of aviation services at Kaunas; and to FL Technics for committing to build a partnership with MAAS to combine our services with theirs for the benefit of airline and lease company customers; and to Ryanair for its continued business and trust in being our launch customer at the site.”
In the build up to establishing this new facility MAAS Aviation experienced a dynamic growth trajectory. In 2015 the Company had just three paint shops in two locations, 130 aircraft were painted, and turnover was approximately $10 million.
This year MAAS will have eleven paint shops (three in Hamburg; two in Kaunas; two in Maastricht; one at Fokker Woensdrecht; and three in Mobile, Alabama. The organisation is forecasting painting up to 300 aircraft with turnover expected to exceed $28 million.
“All MAAS paint shops are operated to OEM standards of performance and we are one of the top three MROs in the world offering a specialist service”, explains Macdougald. “Our business benefits from long term customer contracts – including with Airbus – all of which relate to our culture which combines integrity with competence and reliability. The standard of our facilities reflects our design expertise and includes full climate control paint shops, computerised building management systems and datalogging, high-lux lighting, and fully-lined clean paint shops. Our use of aircraft access docking systems eliminates the risk of damaging aircraft during painting due to the avoidance of moving equipment.”
MAAS Aviation mitigated the impact of COVID-19 on the construction of the paint shop facility at Kaunas Airport early. “It is testament to the quality of our design team headed by Ian Guinness of MRO Facilities International, and of our project management & construction contractors – UAB Agentus and UAB TEC” emphasises Macdougald. “The ‘can do’ mind-set of the local people also contributed to this positive result. As a result, the build completed exactly on time, to budget. Our professional team spearheaded by Cobalt Law ensured the project ran smoothly from a legal and contractual perspective throughout and I would like to make a special mention of their contribution.”