Of all the theories surrounding the disappearance of MH370, those suggesting poor or faulty maintenance were the quickest to be disproved and after visiting the mammoth maintenance facility in Kuala Lumpur it’s easy to see why.
Two numbers spring to mind, one and 100. Malaysia Airlines maintenance centre is one of the largest Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) centres in the world (Lufthansa is the largest). An MRO centre has the ability to maintain, fix and completely overhaul aircraft within the one facility as scheduled maintenance or in an emergency situation.
The second number, 100, is the number of airlines around the world that outsource all or part of their aircraft maintenance to Malaysia Airlines.
Competitor AirAsiaX uses the Malaysian Airlines Maintenance facility for their own aircraft.
The airline has 6 hangars that take up a total space of 120,000 square metres and cost a minimum $300 million US dollars each to build.
One of four aircraft in the hangar on this particular day – two A330s, one 737-800 and one A380.
The facility employees over 4000 staff alone and engineers are restricted to working on 4 aircraft types only to ensure they are “experts” on certain types. In addition to this, the Malaysia Airlines maintenance facility is internationally accredited by organisations such as the FAA (Federal aviation administration) in America, EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency), CASA (Civil Aviation Safety Authority) of Australia as well as 25 other countries governing aviation bodies.
Engineers working on a 737-800 stop for a meeting
As one of the most respected maintenance facilities in the world, this part of the business is a very profitable and therefore a vital part in Malaysia Airlines success moving forward.
An A380 in for service