LISBON — During our second day at the Embraer Media Days in Portugal, Airways visited the premises of OGMA (Oficinas Gerais De Material Aeronautico) to tour the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities.
Rodrigo Rosa, president and CEO of the Portuguese military MRO and structures firm tells Airways that the company is nearing its 100th anniversary. The origins of OGMA date back to 1918 as a a state-owned defense aviation service provider, and remained as such for several decades until 1994, when it transitioned to a new, independent company.
In 2003, the company was privatized and Brazil’s Embraer acquired 65% of the shares through its holding company Airholdings, with the remaining 35% held by the Portuguese Government. Since then, OGMA has sustained more than a decade of profitability with a 70% focus on MRO services and the remaining 30% on research. While the business segments include military engineering and maintenance to Global Air Forces (including the United States), the company has significantly expanded into civil aviation.
Beginning in the 1990s, OGMA began providing MRO services and support to Embraer’s ERJ family aircraft (ERJ135, ERJ140 and ERJ145). Today, the company has extended its portfolio of maintenance, technical and engineering services to the EJet-E1 family aircraft, comprised by the E170, E175, E190 and E195 aircraft. In addition, OGMA’s customer portfolio includes: UK-based Eastern Airways, Lufthansa, Virgin Australia, TAP Portugal Airlines, TAP Express (formerly PGA Portugalia Airways), euro Atlantic Airways, China Eastern and bmi regional. The MRO is also able to offer services to the Airbus A320 family aircraft in both passenger and corporate jet versions.
Composites maintenance, repair and engineering constitute 60% of the civil aviation business and 40% military. In 2015, these business segments generated €188.7 million ($131.8 million) in revenues. OGMA’s Aerostructures is dedicated to the manufacture of metallic and composite structures and parts. Specific to this program are engine pylon fairings, rat doors and cover bays for Embraer E170/E190 aircraft.
During our visit, Rodrigo Rosa proudly presented a dedicated paint hangar that will undergo paint booth testing in late July. This building alone will be able to handle simultaneous paint removal, resurfacing and repainting of an Airbus A320 along with an Embraer E195.
Also visible during our visit were the C-checks of Embraer customer aircraft. This four-week program identifies, corrects, repairs and strengthens deficiencies uncovered by inspections. Once completed the maintenance, the aircraft is taken to a test flight, taking off from a runway owned and operated by the Portuguese Air Force located within the premises of OGMA.
With 1,600 employees and a profit sharing program that has paid out €13.5 million ($15 million), Rodrigo Rosa told Airways that the two major regions of growth and profitability for this global company are North America and Europe. The factory is in the process of reorganizing its dedicated floor space to accommodate new automation equipment intended to optimize efficiency, product excellence and profitability for its ever-expanding customer base. With a projected volume of business in 2016 to exceed €200 million ($222 million), the future is bright for OGMA.