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Integrated Services, Optimized Routes: A Bet for Sustainability

Maria Heutinck - AirLink MRO


Sofía Garduño By Sofía Garduño | Journalist & Industry Analyst - Thu, 08/10/2023 - 10:56

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Q: What factors have contributed to AirLink MRO's global recognition across various market niches?
A: While AirLink MRO is part of a larger group in Mexico that includes air ambulance, executive charters, cargo and maintenance/MRO services, our collaboration with Aviatek Group in Colombia further enhances our capabilities. By combining aircraft maintenance expertise from PPA and aviation engineering expertise from Aviatek, we have formed a strong and legally committed relationship that allows us to provide MRO services to a diverse range of aircraft, including UH60 helicopters, Spartan C27J, Cessna aircraft and Embraer aircraft, among others. 

One aspect that sets AirLink MRO apart is our integration capabilities. We leverage our own resources, which allows us to offer comprehensive and tailored solutions to meet specific project objectives. For example, in our first project, we were tasked with installing a platform of parts, systems, configurations and workstations in an aircraft for our client. This required a combination of expertise and experience from various complex industries. We had to identify, hire, coordinate and manage specialists in different areas to ensure all components worked together seamlessly. From engineering to legal and regulatory aspects, we handled the entire process, including contractual obligations with customers and subcontractors.

We closely monitor the needs of institutions and identify areas where we can best fulfill those requirements. We are expanding our presence in Colombia, Peru, Chile and Uruguay, engaging in significant projects with military institutions in these countries. Our recognition as a global company stems from our ability to handle complex projects, integrate various resources and provide tailored solutions. Our extensive presence in multiple countries and collaboration with industry-leading partners solidify our position as a trusted provider of MRO services.

Q: Could you elaborate on the divisions and services offered by AirLink MRO and its parent company, USMX Holding Group, in Mexico?

A: AirLink MRO, as part of the USMX Holding Group, is involved in a diverse range of aviation services. With over 25 years of experience in the industry, the company has established itself as a reputable provider of various aviation solutions. Among these, AirLink Ambulance stands out, offering comprehensive air ambulance services on a global scale. This dedicated division is committed to ensuring swift and secure emergency medical transportation by air, guaranteeing the seamless transfer of patients to healthcare facilities. In addition, AirLink extends its services to Charter Flights, meeting the demands of both individuals and corporations. Charter flights provide an exclusive travel option, characterized by flexibility, convenience and personalized experiences that cater precisely to the preferences of passengers.

Our Consultancy division plays a pivotal role by providing expert guidance and advice to clients, addressing various facets of aviation and maintenance. This includes aiding clients in navigating regulatory complexities, optimizing operational processes and formulating strategic plans to enhance overall efficiency. Within the realm of aircraft operations, AirLink's Aircraft Administration services are in charge of the administrative intricacies associated with aircraft ownership and operation. From crucial tasks like registration, licensing and insurance management to meticulous maintenance planning, its adept administration ensures seamless and well-coordinated operations.

At the heart of AirLink is the Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) division, dedicated to upholding the utmost safety and airworthiness standards for aircraft. Through a range of activities such as routine inspections, repairs, component replacements and overall maintenance, the MRO division ensures the proper functioning and reliability of aircraft.

In the realm of transportation, AirLink Cargo provides dependable and efficient cargo solutions through its cargo flight operations. This division is entrusted with the vital responsibility of transporting goods and freight across domestic and international destinations, adeptly catering to the unique requirements of various businesses and industries.

Complementing these services, the AirLink School stands as a recognized and authorized institution by Mexico’s Federal Agency of Civil Aviation (AFAC). Aspiring aviation professionals find a nurturing environment here, offering an extensive range of programs and courses that equip them with the skills and knowledge essential for a successful career in the aviation sector. From aviation maintenance to operational intricacies, the school ensures a structured and hands-on learning approach, providing students with high-quality training that aligns with AFAC's rigorous regulatory standards.

Q: How does AirLink MRO contribute to the development of local talent and expertise in Mexico's aviation maintenance industry? 

A: We are committed to the development of local talent and expertise within Mexico's aviation maintenance industry and this is one of the things that excites me most. One significant way we contribute to this is through the participation of local talent alongside the specialists we incorporate into our projects. This provides a unique opportunity for local professionals to learn and enhance their skills by working alongside experienced experts in the field.

One example of how we facilitate this knowledge transfer is through the aircraft projects we undertake. For instance, when we work on an aircraft for a specific customer, tasks such as stripping and repainting the aircraft are no simple feat. During this process, our team uncovers what lies beneath the layers of paint, revealing potential erosion and broken spots that need to be addressed. Repairing and assessing critical components, such as the radome that covers the radar, requires sophisticated technology and knowledge. Moisture analysis, X-rays and other advanced techniques are employed to determine the condition of these components accurately.

To tackle these complex challenges, we bring in experts with specialized expertise. Local talent has the opportunity to work closely with these specialists, gaining invaluable hands-on training and exposure to advanced techniques and tools. Our workstations resemble laboratories, where our talent can analyze the quality of materials, explore innovative solutions and generate comprehensive reports.

By fostering these interactions between local talent and experienced professionals, we actively try to contribute to the development of expertise within Mexico's aviation maintenance industry. Through this collaborative approach, we ensure that our local professionals gain the necessary skills and knowledge required for sophisticated maintenance and repair tasks. This not only benefits our projects but also contributes to the growth and advancement of the overall aviation maintenance industry in Mexico.

Q: Considering the rising demand for sustainable aviation, how has AirLink MRO integrated environmentally friendly practices and technologies into its operations? 

A: We recognize the increasing demand for sustainable aviation and believe in the importance of environmental responsibility. As a company, we understand our role in cooperating with international and domestic initiatives that address environmental solutions. We actively stay up to date with the latest developments in sustainable aviation practices and technologies by participating in webinars, discussions and panels that focus on these topics.

One area where we try to contribute to sustainable aviation is through our efforts to make aviation routes in Mexico more efficient. By optimizing routes, we can reduce fuel consumption and emissions, which have a positive impact on the environment. Currently, aviation routes in Mexico are complex due to the presence of multiple airports and flight connections. We are actively involved in initiatives that aim to redesign these routes, aligning them with more direct and efficient paths. By implementing this change, aircraft can fly more directly, reducing flight distances and fuel consumption.

We have been approached by major aviation passenger companies, including one of the largest in the EU, which initiated efforts to implement more direct routes. Collaborating with organizations like OASI and other relevant agencies, we actively support and participate in these initiatives to explore and evaluate the feasibility of implementing straighter routes as a routine practice.

By embracing and participating in these sustainable aviation initiatives, we try to actively integrate environmentally friendly practices and technologies into its operations. Our commitment to promoting efficiency and reducing emissions contributes to the overall goal of creating a more sustainable aviation industry.

Q: With the continuous growth of international travel and trade, what opportunities does AirLink MRO see to expand its services beyond Mexico and contribute to the global aerospace market?

A: While our other divisions within the holding group see significant growth opportunities and actively pursue them, our strategy in the AirLink MRO business is slightly different. Instead of focusing on global expansion, our emphasis lies on partnering with other industry-leading organizations to deliver the highest quality services that meet international standards. We invest time and effort in establishing solid and personal relationships with these partners, enabling us to provide integrated services. Our goal is to ensure that we maintain the highest level of quality and customer satisfaction rather than simply expanding our geographical reach. That being said, we do see potential for controlled expansion into other regions, particularly within Latin America. By carefully expanding our presence in neighboring countries, we can continue to provide high-quality services while contributing to the growth and development of the global aerospace market.

Regarding our other divisions, the cargo flight industry has experienced significant benefits in Mexico due to nearshoring. As a result, we actively explore opportunities to optimize and enhance cargo flight services. Also, with the increasing number of people traveling, surpassing pre-pandemic levels, we have witnessed a notable rise in our air ambulance flights. As a result, we are dedicated to setting an example in the industry by implementing European standards and best practices. We try to encourage other local air ambulance companies to investigate and adopt these practices, fostering a collective commitment to excellence and patient care. 

Q: What are AirLink MRO's future plans and strategies for expanding its presence and market share in Mexico, as well as its potential contributions to the country's aviation industry? 

A: As we look to the future, AirLink MRO remains committed to evaluating the market and actively participating wherever opportunities arise. We understand the importance of timing and aligning our growth strategies with market trends. Our approach is to gradually expand our presence and market share in Mexico and Latin America, ensuring that it is the right time to do so.

Our primary focus is on delivering exceptional quality services to our customers. By consistently providing integrated solutions, we believe that growth will naturally follow. As we continue to prioritize customer satisfaction and maintain our commitment to excellence, we anticipate that our market share in Mexico and Latin America will expand organically.

Furthermore, we remain attentive to the evolving landscape of the aviation industry in Mexico. We continuously assess market dynamics and adapt our strategies accordingly. This allows us to seize opportunities as they emerge and effectively position ourselves for long-term success.

Q: In what ways does AirLink MRO address the unique needs of its clients, including the federal government through SEDENA?

A: To address specific needs, we offer tailored services and solutions that are designed to meet their individual demands. We engage in projects through tenders where we compete against other providers. This process sets the stage for evaluating and addressing the unique needs of our clients. The projects we undertake for our clients, including the federal government, are inherently complex, requiring meticulous planning, coordination and execution. When bidding on a project, our approach extends beyond simply offering a basic solution to our clients' needs. We strive to see the whole picture and think one step ahead, aiming to provide a comprehensive package that will work best for the client. 


AirLink MRO, part of the Aviatek Group, provides maintenance, repair and overhaul services for various aircraft, including Sikorsky UH60 Black Hawk and MI-17 helicopters.

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