GoldCare maintenance deal is a boon for Gatwick
Tuesday, December 06, 2016
Gatwick Airport may still be reeling from the U.K. government's recent decision to award a new London runway to rival Heathrow Airport, but the city's second-largest gateway has at least received some good news with a landmark deal to bring Boeing GoldCare maintenance to the site.
Boeing's GoldCare is an aftermarket service offered by the U.S. manufacturer to customers and operators of its aircraft worldwide. It includes aircraft maintenance, support and engineering services that are flexible to the carrier's needs, and located in convenient locations that don't require costly ferry flights.
Gatwick will become a main hub for Boeing's U.K. and European customers, presumably chosen because many of them already use the airport and can conveniently drop in for work to be carried out.
Boeing is set to begin work on the new multimillion-pound facility, which will include a new hangar on an as-yet-unannounced site at Gatwick in late 2017. It will be subject to local planning permission and an environmental study that will take place first. The plan is to have the hangar operational by 2018.
The U.K. government entered into an agreement with Boeing earlier this year to see prosperity and growth through initiatives like this, with a target of creating 2,000 new jobs. It is hoped up to 100 of those new jobs could be created as a result of Boeing's plans at Gatwick, and it is a major boost for the airport, which is independently owned and had been pushing hard to be chosen as the site of a new runway to boost operations.
At present, Gatwick is the world's busiest single-runway airport and handles a mix of some 60 low-cost and full-service airlines. In recent years, Gatwick's long-haul offering has been recovering.
"This new partnership with Boeing will help us to ensure that we can continue to grow and support our operations, especially in our burgeoning long-haul services," Guy Stephenson, the airport’s CCO, said in a statement.
GoldCare services are already offered in the U.K. by approved provider Monarch Aircraft Engineering at their Birmingham and Luton bases. However, the presence of many Boeing customers at Gatwick — including Norwegian, which has a base at the airport and flies a mix of 737 and 787 aircraft, with many new 737 MAX aircraft on order — will ensure a steady stream of work for the new facility.
"The U.K. is a crucial country for us and represents a prime location for our business supporting airlines in Europe and beyond," said Sir Michael Arthur, president of Boeing Europe and managing director of Boeing U.K. and Ireland.
Boeing will likely announce further developments with its worldwide services business in the commercial, space and defense sectors as it expects work to triple over the next 10 years.
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