Qantas Airways plans to open a new maintenance facility at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX).

The Qantas Airways Maintenance and Engineering facility will be the first overseas maintenance base at LAX, and the first of many business ventures Qantas officials will undertake as they push to further expand their operations in Los Angeles, according to the office of Los Angeles Mayor Antonio Villarai-gosa.

“Qantas — LAX’s largest international airline — has taken over this hangar as a tangible sign of its commitment to the City of Los Angeles and LAX,” Villaraigosa said.

“The establishment of our first overseas maintenance base here at LAX is an important strategic decision for Qantas that will have operational benefits for us and provide economic contributions to the city,” said Wally R. Mariani, Qantas Airways senior executive vice president for The Americas and Pacific.

“Additionally, our decision to bring this new maintenance base to Los Angeles is another dem-onstration of our continued commitment to LAX and the economy of the City of Los Angeles,” Mariani added.

Noting that Qantas will be the first airline to fly the Airbus A-380 to the United States in 2007, Villaraigosa said LAX will be ready to accommodate the new aircraft.

“Los Angeles recognizes the importance of this new service to our international carriers, and we are committed to making sure that LAX is ready when Qantas brings the first A-380 here to Los Angeles,” Villaraigosa said.

The new facility will function as a full-service maintenance and engineering base for Qantas in the U.S.

With more than 80 service technician positions, the facility more than doubles the engineering and maintenance workforce.

The Qantas hangar is capable of performing regularly scheduled maintenance inspections, known as A-checks, on Qantas’s extensive fleet of Boeing 747 aircraft, Villaraigosa staff said.

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