Vallair has opened its new maintenance hangar at Marcel Dassault Airport in Châteauroux, France.
The 8,520sq m hangar can accommodate up to five A321 size aircraft simultaneously, or a combination of A330/A340 and A321s.
Vallair’s founder and CEO Grégoire Lebigot noted that the opening involved collaboration and overcoming challenges. “We are part of ‘Aérocentre’, the regional centre of excellence in Centre-Val de Loire that works to develop and sustain the aeronautical sector across the area with over 120 member organisations,” he said. “Vallair stands as one of its key players over the last fifteen years and we are proud to be part of the rich aviation heritage in the heart of France.
“During this period, we have developed an unparalleled expertise in the aerostructures arena, including composites and key components like nacelles and thrust reversers on site, along with aircraft recycling, cargo conversions and our MRO activities, which now extend to widebody capabilities. It is our aim to ensure that our customers can benefit from all these complementary on-site skills and the associated cost savings that we can offer.”
Vallair said it would initially focus on A330 heavy maintenance capabilities with a view to adding A340, A350 and possibly 777 capabilities “in the near future”. In-house cargo conversion services will also commence with narrowbodies and quickly expand to a range of other platforms, including widebodies, the company said.
“We’re excited to build up a new reputation for widebody excellence as we enter into 2022, this is the dawn of a new era for Vallair and our customers,” said Lebigot. “Our activities in Châteauroux will also focus on passenger-to-freighter conversions and a dedicated unit will showcase our significant experience and knowledge in this area. As we step up our P2F programme it is essential for us to expand our resources across all geographical areas, and we will now be able to efficiently re-locate several conversion projects to France. In addition, our expertise with mature aeronautical assets enables us to follow our sustainability agenda as Vallair continues to grow.
“Since mid-2020, the project has been an incredible journey and a major investment. Everyone involved has been committed to reach the ambitious deadlines and everyone in the Vallair team must be congratulated for their dedication and unstoppable enthusiasm. I’d also like to thank François Bonneau, President of Region Centre Val de Loire, Dominique Roullet, President of Châteauroux Airport, and their teams, for their continuous support.”