Air Transport World

Same firm, new place.

Perry Trunick, editor of PentonMedia magazine Transportation & Distribution, contributed to this story.

Teamed with TAECO in Xiamen, HAECO offers an attractive aircraft maintenance, overhaul and conversion package

The inability to predict the future with fine accuracy that has bedeviled many long-lead aviation ventures has hit HAECO where it lives, which at the moment is in a big, brand-new, beautiful but slightly underutilized maintenance operation at Chek Lap Kok.

After decades of making do in cramped, dispersed and makeshift quarters on the periphery of crowded Kai Tak, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Co. Ltd. now has consolidated all of its functions into one facility and maximized its efficiency--an 8-10% increase--albeit at the cost of increased facility expenses for nearly the same floor space. Unfortunately, the onset of the Asian downturn means that the flow of business also has turned down just as HAECO's ability to produce increased. The sad consequence of this capacity mismatch was a rare layoff late last year, with 352 employees hitting the streets.

On the other hand, affiliate Taikoo Air-craft Engineering Co. Ltd in Xiamen, China, is so busy that a second 2-bay hangar is opening for business, and keeping up with the demands for manpower is a constant battle. …

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