LONDON – EI-IFD, one of ITA Airways’ Airbus A350s, became the latest visitor to the STS Engineering hangar in Manchester Airport earlier this week.
EI-IFD operated ITY8011 from Rome Fiumicino Airport to Manchester on November 10, departing Rome at 0805 local time before arriving in Manchester at 0920 local time.
AviationSource photographer Harrison Rowe got a photo of the aircraft landing in Manchester:
The aircraft was seen in its white versioned livery with the “Born to be Sustainable” and “-25% Fuel & CO2” stickers that were applied to the aircraft previous to its visit.
According to sources, the aircraft is in the hangar for some work to be done on its Rolls-Royce Trent XWB engines.
C-GTCY Was The First Customer…
C-GTCY was the Airbus A321-211 in question and is the first customer for STS Aviation, with the aircraft due for some maintenance.
Ironically enough, C-GTCY started out life as G-TCDC with Thomas Cook Airlines back in November 2013 and remained with the carrier until they went bust.
From there, the aircraft was returned to Air Lease Corporation in November 2019 as OE-IDT before being delivered to Air Transat in January 2020 as C-GTCY.
The aircraft used flight number TS71 and came all the way from Toronto.
A Quick Turnaround…
STS has been very busy this month in particular, announcing major plans for its Manchester facility.
Around two weeks ago, the company executed a long-term lease agreement, received full CAA closure to the part 145 audit findings, and stated that MRO operations would begin out of the airport in the first week of November.
This has been a boost to the local economy, especially through the creation of 70 brand-new jobs.
Ian Radford, the VP of Technology for STS Aviation Services, had this to say back on October 18:
“It was more than one year ago when STS first engaged with the relevant stakeholders for the facility. At that time, we set a go-live target for the first week of November, and we are now at that point”.
“I am extremely proud to have led this project. Seeing all the hard work come to fruition has been an amazing experience.”
“It is known how quickly a hangar facility and all the systems can deteriorate when not in use for several years, and STS has worked incredibly hard to bring the facility back to life.”
“This has been achieved with great partners, fully engaged stakeholders, our wonderful staff, and some remarkable equipment, systems, and tools.”
“We have built a solid base for MRO in Manchester with space to grow. In addition to reaching our go-live target date, STS Aviation Services also received audit closure for its first C rating.”
“Here, we will build back-shop capabilities to go along with our sizeable engine shop and its B rating.”
STS Has Big Plans for That Hangar…
Ahead of the maintenance that we will see STS doing out of that hangar, the bigger news for Manchester Airport is the General Terms Agreement that they signed with Mammoth Freighters.
Under this agreement, STS will perform passenger-to-freighter conversions for the Mammoth 777 programs, which cover -200LR and -300ER aircraft.
It is understood that this is due to begin in 2024.
Commenting on this deal at the time was David Steinmetz, Mammoth’s Senior VP of Operations:
“Ensuring that we have the right modification capacity in place around the world to meet the robust demand for the Mammoth 777 freighter program is vital to our success”.
“STS has the experience, knowledge, capability, and, most importantly, the high-quality reputation that we look for in an MRO partner. We are excited to have STS on our team and look forward to a productive, long-term relationship.”
Overall, all of this is major news for the MRO side of Manchester Airport, and it will no doubt continue to grow, especially with the Mammoth Freighters deal as well going into the future.