Global MRO Trends Under The Microscope

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Global MRO Trends Under The Microscope

A roundup of important developments affecting MRO providers around the world

A look at some of the key aftermarket trends around the globe.

North America

  • Technician supply will be challenging over the next five years, which could result in increased labor costs, according to Oliver Wyman
  • Some airline MROs are bringing work in-house, including American Airlines and AeroMexico for CFM56-5B repair and Boeing 787 base maintenance, respectively, while Mexico’s Interjet is also looking for in-sourcing opportunities
  •  The supply chain feels squeezed, especially second- and third-tier suppliers
  • Airlines and MROs are increasingly adopting digital tools, from mobile applications to predictive analytics
  • Partnerships with Silicon Valley and startups are increasing as companies seek new technologies

Latin America

  • MROs in Central America continue to expand facilities; overall, region seeing further investment
  • But the Caribbean is still hurting from Hurricane Maria; recovery could take
    another 18-24 months
  • Brazil’s economic rebound should benefit aftermarket businesses this year; Argentina’s economic reforms attract new airlines
  • Lack of regional component maintenance is still a concern for carriers
  • MRO demand will grow two percentage points faster than the world rate of 3.1%, the Aviation Week 2018 Commercial Aviation Fleet & MRO Forecast says.


  • OEMs turn to tech companies for data-driven projects, including Airbus, which developed its Skywise analytics platform with California-based Palantir Technologies, while Rolls-Royce is
    working with Microsoft
  • European independent MROs—such as SR Technics and Magnetic MRO were acquired by Chinese investors; more aftermarket consolidation is predicted
  • Labor costs will continue to rise in Central and Eastern Europe
  • An influx of new aircraft such as the Airbus A320neo and Boeing 737 MAX into service has airlines looking for new MRO partners
  • Modification work will flourish over the next decade

Middle East

  • MROs are investing in new technologies such as 3D printing and voice-control systems
  • Aftermarket providers are developing engine and airframe capabilities to meet demand for current and new-generation powerplant and aircraft types
  • Difficult conditions are predicted for regional independents, but joint-venture routes with OEMs could be promising options
  • Economic, political and business factors are affecting Qatar Airways, Etihad Airways and Emirates and related MRO work


  • Existing MRO infrastructure is limited; both facilities and training are in need of upgrades
  • Some airline consolidation is occurring
  • The continent’s mature fleet will drive MRO demand on older engine types


  • More overseas work is being targeted by regional MROs such as Air India’s maintenance division, which aims to grow its third-party work to 50% of revenue over the next five years
  • Western OEMs and MROs look to domestic partnerships, such as AAR’s new airframe facility venture with Indamer
  • Airlines in India gain some relief from high tax and duty fees imposed on spare parts and MRO services; some recently gained relief could help their cost
    structure and expansion


  • Domestic airline growth is beginning to strain MRO capacity
  • The country may face a labor shortage, with surging demand outstripping technician supply
  • Narrowbody aircraft work will drive MRO demand over the next decade
  • Analysts predict steady growth in heavy maintenance rather than a bow wave of shop visits


  • Engine and component joint ventures are setting up in Singapore, as are innovation labs
  • Low-cost labor markets such as Vietnam and Thailand are increasingly attractive to OEMs and MROs
  • There are calls for a regional safety regulator similar to those in the U.S. and Europe
  • The region’s carriers are looking at technology investments including RFID, paperless records, 3D printing, drones and data analytics

Source: MRO Network

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