Eirtech to open aircraft painting depot in Italy

Company to occupy hangar once used by Alitalia

Eirtech Aviation operates from Shannon and Dublin airports. Photograph: David Sleator

Eirtech Aviation operates from Shannon and Dublin airports. Photograph: David Sleator

 


Eirtech Aviation, a Shannon-based aircraft maintenance company, is expanding into Italy. The Enterprise Ireland-backed company is to open a facility for painting wide-body aircraft at Fiumicino airport in Rome in a hangar that was once used by Alitalia, the failed Italian flag carrier.

The new painting depot is the fourth such facility to be opened by Eirtech, which was formed following a management buyout four years ago of Lufthansa Technik Painting in Shannon, its main base. It will be operational by next month, the company said.

Eirtech also has operations in Dublin, Dubai and the Czech Republic following a rapid expansion in recent years.

It now employs about 250 staff, more than half of whom are based in Ireland.

The company said yesterday there was not the capacity at either of its Irish operations to make the investment in its home country.

It also said it needed to spread its painting operations around the continent for the convenience of its airline clients.

“Our expansion into Rome is the next phase in the company’s development,” chief executive Niall Cunningham said.

“Providing multiple location options for clients gives Eirtech Aviation a competitive advantage [because] moving aircraft for painting and maintenance can be a costly exercise.”

Eirtech says it painted over 200 wide-body commercial aircraft last year, for clients including SAA, Etihad, Air Berlin, Qatar Airways and Lufthansa.

In addition to painting livery, it also provides engineering, aircraft finishing and asset management services.

Eirtech had accumulated profits of €2.3 million since the management buyout, according to its most recently filed accounts. The figures show that it pays a rent of €450,000 for its hangar at Shannon.

It also operates from Hangar Three at Dublin airport. It opened there in 2010 with the creation of 71 jobs.