Air Astana completed its first independent C-check at its base at Almaty Airport in November 2019.

An Airbus A320neo aircraft, registration P4-KBH was selected for this C-check. Air Astana received certification from the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) in October to perform this advanced level of maintenance.

The certificate allows Air Astana to perform heavy maintenance (C-check) on Airbus A319/A320/A321 aircraft.

The C-check which was performed in 10 days under the guidance of S7 Technics specialists, with Air Astana engineers and support teams successfully carrying out over 170 safety checks, as well as minor cabin restoration.

In preparation for this maintenance work, Air Astana engineers have received training at S7 Technics’ base in Moscow over the past 11 months.

Last year Air Astana and S7 Technics signed a memorandum of understanding to establish C-check maintenance at Air Astana’s bases in Almaty and Nur-Sultan.

Under the agreement, S7 Technics provides consulting services as well as training of Air Astana specialists to expand their repair capabilities. The partnership involves the sharing and exchange of tools and equipment between the Air Astana maintenance base and S7 Technics’ bases.

Keith Wardle, vice president, maintenance and engineering, Air Astana, commented: “Our primary goal is to minimise airline costs by independently performing heavy aircraft maintenance.

“With the expansion of our experience and capability, we also see the possibility of carrying out maintenance for external customers.

“This in turn will increase revenue and offset part of the cost of performing our own C-checks. We expect this to happen in the coming years.”

Igor Panshin, deputy general director for marketing and sales, S7 Technics, added: “In the history of S7 Technics, this is the first such project. But there are examples in the aviation industry when a provider helps a customer develop their own competencies.

“For an airline of the scale of Air Astana, the development of its own competencies in the field of basic maintenance is not a whim, but a logical step to reduce costs.”

Air Astana will significantly increase its maintenance capability at the Nur-Sultan base ready for the first C-check there in 2020.