Korea Aerospace Industries (KAI) will set up Seoul’s first aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company in July this year.
In December, the government designated KAI as the operator of the Korea Aviation Engineering & Maintenance Service, Ltd. (KAEMS). KAEMS aims to provide MRO work on a local low-cost carrier between October and December after obtaining a certificate as an MRO company in the third quarter, a KAI spokeswoman said by phone, the company said in a statement Thursday.
KAI owns a 65 percent stake in KAEMS, with Korea Airports Corp. and six companies controlling 19.9 percent and the remaining 15.1 percent state in the new firm.
"Many Korean airplane companies, both passenger and military, used to go to the United States and Singapore for MRO work. It usually cost them about 1 trillion won (US$923 million) a year to receive MRO services outside the country," a spokeswoman for the country's sole aerospace company said.
"But KAI is now capable of maintaining, repairing and overhauling local planes as the country's sole aircraft manufacturer beat Japan in an auction in October to win the $48.8 million MRO project for 90 F16 fighter jets operated by the U.S. air force in the Asia-Pacific region."
KAI will be responsible for the MRO work on the fighter jets up till September 2022, she said.