How much work is it to repaint an airplane?

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Answer by Thomas Zerbarini:

As others have pointed out, painting an airplane is very expensive.
What I have found over the last few years is that most airlines used to paint their own aircraft or do it locally. Now I find that it is being outsourced mostly to Mexico. Mexico has less stringent environmental regulation and poor environmental oversight. So, they are dramatically cheaper and faster at stripping and painting aircraft.
I have seen these operations and they do a very good job most of the time. Occasionally we have to send one back for a redo.
Now, painting an aircraft is one thing. Maintenance and inspections is another. There are a number of airlines around the world that outsource their major maintenance to cheaper labor countries. I don't agree with the practice and feel the maintenance should be done at the airline, or at the very least, within the same country the airline and maintenance facility is certificated if the airline has to outsource its major maintenance.
I do not fly for any airline that outsources its maintenance out of the country except Canada where there is a close relationship with the United States.
Thomas Zerbarini

How much work is it to repaint an airplane?


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