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Transaero, Russian Airliane Are Coming to Secure 180 Aircraft Jobs

May 1, 2012

AN AIRCRAFT maintenance company in Shannon has been taken over, saving 180 jobs.

Recruitment of additional staff is also under way, as Air Atlanta Aero Engineering (AAAE) was bought by Moscow-based company, Transaero.

Although both companies have remained tight-lipped about the takeover, an announcement is believed to be imminent, while rebranding of the Shannon hangar has already started.

The takeover of Air Atlanta means that the existing jobs at the facility will be kept safe. And before the deal was finalised, the company had already started a recruitment drive to secure more aircraft engineers.

AAAE will now operate as Transaero Engineering Ireland.

The Shannon operation specialises in maintenance of Boeing 737, 757 and 767-series aircraft for a range of customers including commercial, cargo and corporate airlines and the aircraft leasing community.

Transaero has taken over the former Air Atlanta’s 10,000sqm hangar which sits on the north-east side of Shannon Airport adjacent to the main runway.

However, it is expected that the company will hope to build at least one extra hangar at Shannon to accommodate the larger jets.

Shannon-based Senator Tony Mulcahy said: ‘This is what Shannon is good at. The airport has a world-renowned reputation for high-quality maintenance, repair and overhaul, and Aer Atlanta had always been at the top in this area… This is great news not just for the workers and a real win-win for Shannon.’ There has also been speculation that Transaero may operate commercial flights through Shannon and could reopen the long-since-lost Shannon to Moscow route.

Mayor of Shannon, Mary Brennan said: ‘With Transaero now coming maybe we could hope it may also bring some flights and that the future of Shannon would start to look brighter. After a lot of job losses and negativity in the Shannon area it is great have some hope.’ In recent weeks, Air Atlanta has been working on aircraft previously operated by the former Hungarian airline Malev, which ceased operations in February.

One of those Malev 737 jets, which had been leased from International Lease Finance Corporation, has since been repainted in the Transaero livery and currently sits outside the hangar.

Meanwhile, the Minister for Transport, Leo Varadkar, is expected to announce in the next few days his plans on how to safeguard the future of Shannon Airport.

Mr Varadkar has previously said he would inform the Cabinet by Easter on what options he favoured for Shannon Airport.

He has been presented with a number of options in a report by consultants Booz, who recommended that Shannon should be taken out of the control of the Dublin Airport Authority.

While public-private and full privatisation options were put forward, the consultants favoured a ‘concession model’ which would see the airport under the auspices of a number of local public bodies, including the Clare and Limerick County Councils.

The Booz report highlights how Shannon’s passenger traffic has halved to 1.8million in the four years to 2010.

The consultants recommended that Shannon should explore new sources of revenue including the exploitation of its 2,000-acre landbank and a greater focus on cargo.


Transaero Engineering

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