Pärnu Airport saw an Airbus 320, a somewhat larger aircraft than the airport usually hosts, touch down Tuesday, though not carrying a complement of passengers – the airline is the first to be serviced by Estonian firm Magnetic MRO following its expansion to Pärnu.
Magnetic MRO is headquartered at Tallinn Airport where it has four hangars for providing aircraft maintenance services. After a difficult time during the pandemic, the company has expanded its operations to Pärnu Airport.
The Airbus A320 (pictured) liveried in the colors of Spanish low-cost carrier Volotea, flew from Spain to Pärnu and is the first large maintenance job to take place in the Magnetic MRO Pärnu hangar, completed earlier in the year.
The work will be extensive, and will take around three months. Magnetic MRO, the flight operator and the airline handling the wet-lease are cooperating in the project.
Magnetic MRO operations manager Jan Kotka told ETV news show "Aktuaalne kaamera," (AK) that this was: "An important and significant moment for Estonian aviation, across three key areas: The reconstruction of the airport in Pärnu itself, which took place in 2019, the new aircraft hangar, which was completed at the start of this year, and now also an aircraft of an appropriate size that has arrive here," adding that the company intends to try to carry out maintenance jobs of this scale in other locations in addition to Tallinn.
To minimize expenses, maintenance work is done on a conveyor basis, ie. one plan comes in immediately after the previous one leaves, though unforeseen delays are also scenarios which are planned for.
Kotka added that before the Pärnu hangar was complete, Magnetic would not have been able to service the plane before spring – since its four Tallinn hangars are fully booked.
Pärnu Airport's regular, four-day-per-week Ruhny connection remains, Kotka added, along with some trainee pilots from Finland and Latvia, making it slightly busier for the time of year than would normally be the case.
Pärnu airport handling manager Erki Teemägi said that the arrival of the A320 will hopefully make that a more permanent situation.
"The plane that arrived for maintenance today will hopefully blaze the trail for the airport seeing more frequent use. If they do well here, hopefully we will continue to see this kind of aircraft maintenance here," Teemägi told AK.
Once the work, scheduled to finish in the first quarter of 2024, is complete, the A320 will return to serving destinations in Southern Europe.
Editor: Andrew Whyte, Marko Tooming
Source: 'Aktuaalne kaamera,' reporter Ester Vilgats.