United Airlines is appointed as the future owner of the huge maintenance center (MRO) belonging to TAP and located at Rio de Janeiro International Airport, in Brazil.
Built by the late Brazilian airline Varig, the MRO was acquired by TAP, which used its facilities for the maintenance of narrowbodies and widebodies aircraft.
However, due to the financial assistance received from the European Commission, TAP had to transfer the unit and therefore closed activities at the site in January. During the presentation of the results, TAP reported a loss of 1 billion euros with the closing of the unit.
According to the newspaper O Globo, United Airlines must double the number of employees at the maintenance center, from 500 to 1,000 people.
Varig Engenharia e Manutenção
Opened in 1980, the hangar at Galeão Airport covers an area of 20,000 m² and was for a long time the largest in Latin America. In 2001, Varig created VEM (Varig Engenharia e Manutenção), a company specialized in maintenance. The Portuguese airline took over VEM in 2006, changing its name to TAP ME Brasil.
United Airlines’ alleged interest in the maintenance center runs counter to a similar initiative by competitor American Airlines, which built an MRO at São Paulo’s Guarulhos Airport years ago.