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Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering forms aircraft maintenance JV with Air Arabia


Hong Kong (XFN-ASIA) - Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co Ltd

(HAECO) said it has signed a joint venture agreement with Air Arabia, the first

low-cost carrier in the Middle East and North Africa, to provide for the airline's

engineering and maintenance requirements.

The joint venture company, HAECO Sharjah Aircraft Maintenance Co Ltd (HS-AECO), will be owned 49 pct by HAECO and 51 pct by Air Arabia.

Under the agreement, HAECO will assist in managing the operations of a hangar that is currently under construction at Sharjah Airport, together with the setting up of related maintenance, repair and overhaul operations specializing in Airbus A320 aircraft.

HAECO deputy chairman and chief executive PK Chan said the joint venture provides the group "with a unique opportunity to position ourselves in the Middle East, one of the world's most vibrant aviation regions."

"This agreement is very much in line with our expansion plans and strategy," he said.

Sheikh Abdullah bin Mohammed Al Thani, chairman of Air Arabia, said the alliance with HAECO "is very strategic in nature and should be seen in the light of Air Arabia's plans to have a fleet of 34 aircraft by 2016."

Sharjah-based Air Arabia, which began operations in October 2003, will become the first airline in the Gulf region to go public when it launches an initial public offering (IPO) in the near future.

Both parties did not disclose the financial details of their joint venture.

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