Air Canada is investing $23 million and creating up to 200 new jobs at its Dorval technical centre in the Montreal region. The initiative will upgrade existing maintenance facilities and position Air Canada as an international leader in providing third-party maintenance services for Boeing 767, Airbus A330 and A340 aircraft.
Work on the project is already underway with all construction and improvements scheduled to be completed by December 2000.
“This is an investment in our future and an investment which enhances Montreal`s reputation as a leader in the aviation and aerospace sector,” said Robert A. Milton, President and Chief Executive Officer, at a news conference at the Air Canada Technical Centre. “The payback for Air Canada will be reduced costs, greater efficiency and the ability to generate more revenues from third-party maintenance contracts.”
The upgrades to heavy maintenance facilities will result in a 20 % improvement in the total maintenance time required for an extensive aircraft overhaul and will generate associated cost savings. Air Canada is already capitalizing on its investment with the signing of a 14-month heavy maintenance agreement with Star Alliance partner, SAS. The $12 million contract includes aircraft overhaul, aircraft painting, complete landing gear replacement, cabin reconfiguration and installation of new entertainment systems. Maintenance work on the first SAS Boeing 767-300 is currently underway.
The investment in maintenance equipment and facilities goes hand-in-hand with a new approach to managing work and staff based on self-managed work teams and an innovative business partnership with the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers (IAMAW). Employee work teams are empowered with a high degree of accountability and responsibility for maintenance work. Technical operations employees played an integral part in the decision-making process and the design of this project.
“Our technical operations staff and IAMAW partners are taking a leadership approach to growing our maintenance business, creating jobs and making the airline more cost-competitive,” added Milton. “The result will be our ability to leverage the Air Canada brand name making us a competitive choice for airlines looking for reliable, high-quality wide-body maintenance services.”
Air Canada`s heavy maintenance experience spans more than six decades. The airline offers customers worldwide a diverse range of technical expertise in the maintenance and overhaul of aircraft, engines, components and various ground and test equipment. Air Canada`s Technical Operations with hangar facilities in Vancouver, Winnipeg, Toronto, Montréal and Halifax employs over 4,500 people.