German carrier Lufthansa has offered Sri Lanka's national carrier SriLankan help to set up a regional aircraft repair hub in Mattala Rajapaksa International Airport.
Sri Lankan Airlines announced that it was working out details with Lufthansa AG's maintenance arm, Lufthansa Technik, to open the repair facility at Mattala.
At a press briefing yesterday, SriLankan airlines CEO Kapila Chandrasena told that the facility would be developed as a regional center for repair and maintenance of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft. He expressed hopes of servicing about 110 aircraft annually.
The maintenance, repair and overhaul center is expected to earn revenues of US$ 100 million a year.
The project will see an investment of US$ 14 million in machinery and equipment. The facility will have four hangers and it is expected to employ about 400 people.
The airport and its surrounding area of 1,000 hectares have been earmarked as a free-trade zone, where work can be carried out without requiring customs clearance.
The operations will start in July, 2014, the SriLankan CEO said. The facility is expected to bring in profits to the loss-making carrier.