COLOMBO: Sri Lankaâ€™s national airline has announced plans to set up a regional aircraft repair hub with the help of German carrier Lufthansa. The aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul operations will be a centerpiece of the new $209 million Mattala Rajapakse International Airport which opened in March, officials said. Sri Lankan Airlines said it was working out details with Lufthansa AGâ€™s maintenance arm, Lufthansa Technik, to open the repair facility at the Chinese-built international airport in the islandâ€™s south by next July. â€œWe are in discussions to finalize our business plan and work out the equity to be put into the new venture,â€ Sri Lankan airlines chief executive Kapila Chandrasena told reporters in Colombo. He said the facility would be developed as a regional center for repair and maintenance of Airbus A320 and Boeing 737 aircraft and they hoped to service about 110 aircraft annually. He said Airbus was also providing some $25 million worth of repair equipment as part of a package to buy 10 new Airbus aircraft that would be delivered to Sri Lankan Airlines starting in October 2014. The national carrier, which lost an estimated $190 million in the financial year ending March 2013, has signed a deal to buy six new Airbus A330-300 aircraft and four of the latest Airbus A350-900 jets as part of a major renewal of the ageing fleet. The airport and its surroundings â€” around 1,000 hectares (2,471 acres) â€” have been earmarked as a tax-free zone for foreign and local investors to set up warehouses, maintenance hangars and other industries. Sri Lanka to set up aircraft repair hub with Lufthansa | Arab News â€” Saudi Arabia News, Middle East News, Opinion, Economy and more.