Aeroplex Plans Restart Of Dormant Romaero Operation (Aviation Week)

Hungarian maintenance provider Aeroplex’s recent partnership with Romania-based aerospace company Romaero will see it restart base maintenance operations in Bucharest later this year and target growth in maintenance lines and workforce numbers.

/Original article on Aviation Week by James Pozzi – July 10 2024/

Both parties signed an agreement in May which under the signed terms, will see Aeroplex conduct maintenance for customers from Romaero’s site at Băneasa Airport in the Romanian capital. State-controlled Romaero, a specialist in commercial and military MRO along with some manufacturing services, entered insolvency at the beginning of this year and maintenance work ceased shortly after.

Arpad Demeny, CEO of Aeroplex, told Aviation Week from the company’s hangar in Budapest that it plans to start the operation in Bucharest under its own Part-145 issued by Hungary’s regulator and that it will run the day-to-day MRO operation. “We will take over the hangar, equipment and the people there and we will definitely extend the workforce with our own staff,” he says.

He says the first maintenance line will likely begin in October and could grow to “two perhaps three” lines of maintenance eventually although he concedes this won’t happen in 2024 as it will look to take a more gradual approach despite capacity being available. Eventually, this strategic partnership may evolve further into a joint venture, says Demeny, who adds that Aeroplex had previously looked at ways to expand outside of Hungary.

Longer term, following the completion of a seven-year plan first laid out in 2016, which saw concerted efforts to grow in the area of line maintenance, Demeny says Aeroplex has a new seven-year strategy in place going up to 2030 focusing on business growth and further diversifying its service offerings. One potential new avenue is a focus on the manufacturing of metal parts initially for aviation before potentially diversifying into non-aviation industries.

He also foresees a further expansion of its component business by adding more back shops in addition to continuing to support its base maintenance operation as part of an ethos of trying to keep as many services in-house as possible. At the center of this will be a new component repair center around seven miles from its existing site at Budapest Ferenc Liszt International Airport. The facility is expected to open in October this year and will focus on maintenance for wheels and brakes, engine parts and composite structure repairs.

Like most of the industry, chief among the company’s main challenges is in workforce recruitment. Demeny points to cooperations with local technical schools including a dual educational program with a local high school, which resulted in 30 student who already finished their education in the last two years and more than 60 who will join the program this autumn. 

Aeroplex has also built an educational partnership with Budapest University of Technology and Economics as a way the company has “looked to take control of the manpower issue.”