Tunisian start-up airline Express Air Cargo has appointed FL Technics as its maintenance, repair and overhaul service provider. Under the agreement, FL Technics will provide re-delivery checks on the carrier’s two owned Boeing 737 freighter aircraft. “Being a start-up airline, we had been obviously looking for a trusted EASA certified maintenance partner with European standards and modern technological background to start our operations, which led us to choosing FL Technics,” said Hassen Aissaoui, technical & airworthiness director, Express Air Cargo. The airline is owned by Anis Riahi and was originally due to launch in January this year, but Riahi said it would now begin operations in September. Riahi noted that it would launch services in two phases, the first of which will include daily connections from northern Africa to Cologne Airport and Paris Charles de Gaulle. The second phase, which is expected to launch in January 2017, would include central and western Africa destinations. When the second phase is launched, the airline will look to add an extra B737-300 and eventually a B767 and small feeders like ATR-42s, ATR-72s and BAE ATPs. It will target integrators including UPS, DHL, TNT, FedEx, Aramex. Tunisia's Enfidha airport – about midway between Tunis and Sousse – will act as its main consolidation point for all inbound and outbound volumes. The airline will also have warehouse operations in Paris, Morocco and Tunisia. In the future, the airline also hopes to add European connections to Marseille, France and Bergamo, Italy. Both B737-300 aircraft have already arrived in the FL Technics maintenance centre in Vilnius, Lithuania. At the moment they are subjected to a variety of inspections, overview of the technical documentation, pre-planned checks and thorough structural examination as well as all the necessary repair procedures in accordance with the technical maintenance plan. “It is great to welcome a yet another airline from the MENA region to our geographically expanding client list,” said Zilvinas Lapinskas, the chief executive of FL Technics. “We are constantly seeking to extend our client network that already includes companies from Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Africa and the Americas. “With the airline business being as volatile as ever, every MRO, FL Technics included, is concerned with the diversification of its client and service portfolios in order to overcome any instability in the industry.” In addition to the Tunisian airline, over the past year FL Technics has supplemented its client list with such names as Pegasus Airlines, Corendon Airlines, Enter Air, Afriqiyah Airways, SmartLynx, White Airways, Air Europa, Freebird Airlines.