Direct Maintenance and Berlin Neuhardenberg Airport join forces with a new commercial aircraft storage solution

Direct Maintenance, member of Magnetic Group, the certified line maintenance service provider, holding EASA Part-145 covering over 70 aircraft-engine combinations and Berlin Neuhardenberg Airport, (EDON) a special purpose airport, located one hour to the east of Berlin, close to the town of Neuhardenberg, have recently announced the launch of a new commercial aircraft storage solution.

The storage solution consists of:

  • Parking space for up to 17 narrow-body aircraft 
  • Parking space for up to 10 wide-body aircraft B787 / A330
  • Hangar availability for aircraft size Boeing 737, Airbus A320
  • EASA/FAA and other approvals
  • CAMO support available
  • On site crew hotel
  • 2.400 m x 50 m concrete runway
  • Load capacity and surfacing PCN 53
  • Highly secure facility, dedicated ramp area for aircraft storage
  • 24 hour operating license
  • Convenient central European location

“Direct Maintenance has a very strong presence in the Berlin area where we provide line maintenance support for a number of commercial airlines. Aircraft storage and CAMO is an important and growing part of our business and the opportunity to grow this area of our business in Berlin at Neuhardenberg Airport, where we can expand further into offering more wide-body and narrow-body storage, plus airframe and engine support is something we consider to be well received by commercial airlines, leasing companies and across the wider aerospace sector,” shared Victoria Goodenough, Head of Business Development at Direct Maintenance.

“Berlin Neuhardenberg Airport is excited to collaborate with Direct Maintenance to grow our commercial aircraft storage business together. We see the success Direct Maintenance has had in other locations with similar facilities and look forward to sharing further success  together. With a location close to Berlin and BER airport, combined with Direct Maintenance quality and expertise, we believe we offer a solution together with is  something special for our customers,” added Andre Morrall, Director Business Development at Neuhardenberg Airport.

Currently, Direct Maintenance covers over 70 aircraft combinations, including A320NEO, A350-900/1000, A380, B737 MAX, B747-8 and B787 in 27 different locations in Europe and Africa.

The state of Line Maintenance industry

Direct Maintenance, a certified line maintenance service provider and member of Magnetic Group, has been successfully navigating the industry’s demand by opening new stations and adding new services to its portfolio. Undoubtedly, this success requires great industry knowledge and agility while tackling the upcoming challenges. Thus, to learn valuable tips and insights about the Line Maintenance industry, we sought expert help and interviewed Kaspars Podins, Head of the Production at Direct Maintenance. 

What are the recent challenges the Line Maintenance team is tackling? What takeaways do we have so far?

Like any MRO today, the most significant challenges are labour shortages and the procurement of highly skilled workers. Especially after the Covid-19 year, engineers had limited working options to keep their skills up to date due to the reduced flights by airlines, closing stations, etc. 

Also, the Aviation MRO industry has already started this year to be ‘chained’ by a lack of maintenance engineers and mechanics, leading to an increase in maintenance costs by MRO, which is inevitably reflected in the final costs incurred by airlines.

In tackling the issue, the answer lies with enhanced optimization practices and processes within MRO and the implementation of advanced software solutions.

All the world is going towards digitalization and automation – but aviation still seems to be old-school, and line maintenance seems relatively unchanged. How is it from the inside? Are there any innovations being deployed?

In Direct Maintenance, we have developed an internal process that allows daily monitoring of our stations and business data, reacting in real-time without holding extensive meetings and discussions.

Moreover, for Direct Maintenance adopting new practices and revising processes are top priorities. Besides, implementing newer technologies is on the list of our priorities. Changes are always constant, as continuous improvements are Magnetic Group’s proactive approach. New developments will happen within the organization in the upcoming few years.

What services are in demand currently? What influences the demand (maybe, for example, parking currently, or other?)

Direct Maintenance is continuously participating in airline tenders. Today’s highest demand is for maintenance services. Consequently, we focus on quality services in our current stations and opening line maintenance stations in new countries. Also, continued demand is for aircraft parking/storage services with re-delivery or transition packages. 

On top of this, Direct Maintenance is performing Ferry Flight support to customers in challenging regions under strict restrictions. 

As European countries have different regulations and never-ending changes to restrictions, airlines are now using the opportunities to establish routes, and MRO must be ready to provide line maintenance services.

What are the key things to consider when setting up a new station? What are the further expansion plans for Direct, including new stations?

For a professional MRO, it is necessary to adapt to customer requests and allocate available maintenance personnel and tooling based on demand. Thus, high importance lies in adapting to the new standard on short notice. Overall, the key takeaways are the exact processes in place, the ability to adapt to any changes, a proactive approach, and high discipline. With all listed, everything is feasible.

Regarding the expansion plans, we are currently expanding in Nordic countries. These plans are solely based on customer demand. Other projects will come along from 2023 onwards.

Direct Maintenance continues its expansion in Germany by opening new line maintenance station in Munich

Direct Maintenance, a certified line maintenance service provider, part of Magnetic Group, announced the recent opening of the new Line Maintenance station in Munich Airport, Germany.

In the past few months, company has opened several Line Maintenance stations in Germany, including stations in Frankfurt and Hannover airports, making. Recently opened line maintenance station in Munich is 8thstation in Germany where company will be providing line maintenance service on various types of narrow and wide body aircraft, including A320, A330, A350, B737NG, B777 and B787. The scope of services in the station includes scheduled and unscheduled line maintenance, daily transit checks, turn around services as well as technical assistance.

„We continue developing and growing Direct Maintenance in Germany  – we notice that the flights volume is increasing and we notice changes in the German market thus we are proactively expanding within the region. In addition, we keep on working hard on the new endeavours in other locations too, thus we are looking forward to sharing latest developments in the nearest future,“ shared Jacco Klerk, Managing Director at Direct Maintenance.

Direct Maintenance covers over 70 aircraft combinations, including A320NEO, A350-900/1000, A380, B737 MAX, B747-8 and B787 in 27 different locations in Europe and Africa.

Interview with Sebastian Schumacher, Maintenance Manager of FRA

In the past several months, Direct Maintenance had exciting developments in Germany. One of them is the line maintenance station opening in Frankfurt Airport (FRA). Thus, while the station is up and running, we took a chance to interview Sebastian Schumacher, the maintenance manager of Frankfurt station. Indeed, his contribution made FRA station opening and operations exceptionally sound. Read the interview below and learn more about Schumacher, the career path that led him to Direct Maintenance, his first impressions of the company, and more.

What was your path that led to aviation? How did you end up working at Direct Maintenance?

When I was a little boy back in the nineties, while watching the B747, Galaxy’s and Airbuses landing in Frankfurt (FRA) airport, I became certain that I wanted to seek a career in the aviation industry. This dream led me to work with Lufthansa Technik for over twenty years. First, I became CAT B1 engineer, then Shift Supervisor in the Line Maintenance Customer Department; after that, I was promoted to Technical Expert on the Lufthansa Multi-Crew Cooperations (MCC), working on several Airbus A380 and A350 projects. Nevertheless, after a few decades with Lufthansa Technik, I decided to return to the Line Maintenance Business at my loved “private home base” in Frankfurt, FRA.

What did you know about Direct Maintenance before you joined the company?

No secret that the brand “Direct Maintenance” is well-known in the Line Maintenance Business. The company has happy customers, besides a very informative public relations media style from Direct Maintenance and Magnetic Group, in general, is not left unnoticed in the industry. On top of this, I was aware of several stations of Direct Maintenance in Europe and Africa that handle many prominent high-end customers.

What was your impression of the company when you joined in?

Coming from a vast MRO company, I was looking forward to joining a smaller company that focuses only on the Line Maintenance business. In Direct Maintenance, I received answers to my questions from the beginning and got helpful feedback in no time. I appreciate it. From the management to Finance, Quality Assurance, Human Resources, Sales, managers and engineers – everybody is accommodating. Moreover, I feel the company’s spirit – they have efficient solutions to even severest problems without talking about it for way too long. 

What are the main challenges in your line of work, and how you’re handing it?

Becoming a station manager and opening a new station in just a few weeks was a big challenge for me. Now, when this is handled, keeping the station running with new staff, relief planning to maintain the high-quality standards of Direct Maintenance, and of course, the station’s daily business will be the new challenges. Nevertheless, it is all about teamwork at the end of the day, and I think we will overcome any upcoming challenges as the mindset “to think outside the box” is very important for us.

What would be the main achievement for you in your line of work?

To keep the FRA station running smoothly with the help of my colleagues and attract more customers would be my achievement objectives at the moment.

Besides work, what are your hobbies and interests?

Outside aviation, I enjoy football, playing the guitar, also scale modelling.

What is your go-to destination to travel to?

With my former employer, I had the opportunity to see the world due to being a flying engineer with the German air force, also Licensed Aircraft Engineer reliefs to other stations, including one in Amsterdam Airport (AMS), and family holidays abroad. In contrast, I prefer to go to the small German island called „Langeoog“ during my days off and annual summer vacation.

Developments in Germany: Direct Maintenance announced opening of the new Line Maintenance stations in Frankfurt and Munich

Direct Maintenance, a certified line maintenance service provider, part of Magnetic MRO, announced the recent expansion within Germany with scheduled opening of two new Line Maintenance stations in Frankfurt and Munich airports.

Two new stations in Germany are the latest developments since the company has start operating  in Cologne-Bonn airport since July 1 2021. Line maintenance stations will be providing line maintenance services for variety of narrow and wide body aircraft types, including B787, A350. B777, A330, A320.  

„This year, we have been and are still busy working out our future strategic plans on developing and growing Direct Maintenance in Germany and beyond. We are confident because of the ongoing customer service success our team deliver to our clients, staged re-emerging post-pandemic flights and changes in the German market thus we are proactively expanding within the region. Also, we will continue to support our ongoing investments in our existing stations, extending our capabilities to serve more aircraft types and airlines across a network of stations. Next to Germany, we do have more and other plans across Europe and Africa, too – and we are looking forward to announce further expansion in months to come,” shared Jacco Klerk, CEO & Managing Director at Direct Maintenance.

Together with Magnetic MRO Line Maintenance, Direct Maintenance now covers over variety of aircraft and engine combinations, including A320NEO, A350-900/1000, A380, B737 MAX, B747-8 and B787 in over 20 different locations in Europe and Africa.

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