Contract-maintenance company SR Technics has completed its first commercial-jet overhaul at its new facility in Malta, just under a year after the company announced it would build the facility at Malta International Airport. The first airliner to be serviced by SR Technics in Malta was an Airbus A319 of UK-based airline easyJet, which became the first customer at the new facility after the two companies agreed an 11-year extension of their existing maintenance relationship last year. Malta's Prime Minister Lawrence Gonzi and other dignitaries took part in a ceremony at the SR Technics hangar following completion of its first aircraft overhaul. SR Technics CEO James Stewart christened the newly serviced easyJet A319 with a bottle of champagne before the aircraft took off, The Malta Independent reports.
During the ceremony, Prime Minister Gonzi unveiled a 'Pride of Malta' logo on the left side of the fuselage beneath the cockpit on the easyJet A319 and every other easyJet aircraft overhauled in Malta will be adorned with the same logo. Catherine Lynn, easyJet's planning director, said SR Technics will service some 150 easyJet aircraft over the 11 years of the contract, which has a potential value of $1.6 billion and will last until 2020. The new facility already employs 124 workers, including former dockyard workers.
Some of the staff at the new SR Technics facility were unemployed up until a few months ago and Stewart said SR Technics plans to recruit up to 400 workers at the facility in the future. A second easyJet aircraft, which had already arrived in Malta in preparation for servicing at the SR Technics facility, took the guests at the ceremony for a special 30-minute flight over the Mediterranean island nation.