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Maintaining potential – An interview with Metrojet

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Maintaining potential – An interview with Metrojet
MetroJet

Maintaining potential

An interview with Metrojet

Metrojet Limited is a Hong Kong-based business jet operator that provides both air and ground-based business aviation services, including aircraft management, maintenance, and consulting services. After being established in 1997, the company expanded its footprint into the Philippines in 2012 by setting up Metrojet Engineering Clark, a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) station based in Clark, about 80 km from Manila.

How has 2022 been so far for Metrojet?

Overall it has been a good year so far. Outbound flight activity has picked up since Hong Kong relaxed its quarantine restrictions. The maintenance side of the business is also doing well, in both Hong Kong and Clark in the Philippines.

In Hong Kong, we completed five base checks and engine changes in October, and have committed base checks through to the end of March 2023; whilst at Metrojet Engineering Clark our hangar parking is now up to six aircraft, which benefits the subsequent maintenance business as well. Other than parked aircraft, we also provide base maintenance and aircraft on ground support to regional customers. Clark also has approvals to rebuild wheel assemblies and perform aircraft battery overhauls.

Are there any emerging trends that you’ve seen so far this year?

Clients appear to be more willing to consider parking their aircraft in the Southeast Asia region, which is likely due to continuously improving service standards, a focus on corrosion protection and better infrastructure.

Is Metrojet Engineering Clark running at its full capacity?

We have just obtained Federal Aviation Administration approvals for the Global 7500 airframe and some other capabilities. We have been monitoring market needs and aim to offer the best level of services and capabilities for our clients.

“We also believe that Metrojet Engineering Clark has the potential to be developed into a world-class FBO in the future as traffic and workload dictates.”

How do you manage the workload between Hong Kong and Clark?

We do it based on the customers’ needs and their best interests, so we plan according to their operations and adjust to accommodate their needs.

Does Clark have any approvals that Hong Kong doesn’t?

There are a few, but generally our services are geared towards aircraft that are operated in the country or region. For example, Clark has the Civil Aviation Authority of the Philippine’s approval whilst Hong Kong does not. To support different customer groups, Clark is also capable of maintaining jets such as the Gulfstream V, Bombardier Challenger 300 and the Bombardier Global 7500, which Hong Kong doesn’t have. Conversely, Hong Kong has Civil Aviation Authority of Vietnam (CAAV) approval and Boeing Business Jet capabilities, while Clark doesn’t.

Are there any authority or type approvals that you are currently working on?

We are the first maintenance, repair and overhaul company in Hong Kong to obtain Vietnam CAAV approvals, as we see the fleet there blooming.

We had previously tried to apply for our Civil Aviation Administration Of China (CAAC) approval but due to the Covid situation, the process has been delayed. We are now aiming to attain CAAC approval in early 2024.

Do you see a plan for more space at Clark?

This is however something that we will work closely on with the Clark Development Corporation and Luzon International Premier Airport Development.

Given the popularity of our hangar parking business in Clark, this could be a plan we will need to address in the future – we need to align this with our maintenance business and grow synergistically together.

Over the past few years, we’ve seen quite a lot of consolidation in the MRO space. Are you looking at acquiring other MRO companies?

Instead of acquiring other MRO companies, we are actually working with Execujet Haite in Tianjin, China. Earlier in the year, we set up a joint venture (JV) and acquired Funian Aviation, and are looking at other expansion opportunities in mainland China.

This JV provides both Haite and Metrojet with a chance to step into the China market by tapping into each other’s expertise in MRO and aircraft management. In time, this could be even more beneficial as we can learn from each other and grow our service spectrum wider.

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