A pivotal moment for Baltic aviation, Šiauliai Airport heralded the opening of its state-of-the-art aircraft maintenance center this Monday. Crafted by “Aviatic MRO,” the 17,000 sq. m hangar can concurrently service up to four narrow-body jets or a mix of one wide-body and two narrow-body aircraft, even accommodating the world’s longest passenger planes. A five-year, €25 million endeavor, this hangar stands as an embodiment of both technological prowess and strategic foresight. Šiauliai’s Mayor, Artūras Visockas, at the inauguration, stressed the airport’s underutilized potential and lauded the efforts that made this milestone achievable, nodding specifically to former government chancellor, Algirdas Stončaitis, for his instrumental role. Challenges, however, weren’t absent. Dmitrijaus Cheliadins, “Aviatic MRO” owner, cited the COVID-19 pandemic and the Ukraine conflict as pivotal impediments, impacting technology acquisition and metal supplies. But with resilience, the vision bore fruit. By next spring, the center eyes a workforce of 400, with aspirations to elevate that number to 2,000 with future expansions.
Its strategic placement at Šiauliai International Airport, close to major European aviation hubs and home to two of the Baltic’s longest runways, underlines the hub’s anticipated importance. Testament to its immediate relevance, partners have already booked clientele for the upcoming five years.
The launch was punctuated by the Airbus A340, one of the globe’s most colossal jets, gracing the new facility, and a performance by renowned singer, Jazzu.