Airbus has launched Airbus’ MRO Alliance (AMA) as part of the company’s strategy to grow its services and address increasing demand for maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) services forecast in the next 20 years.

The AMA will comprise MRO members with high standards and proven expertise in airframe heavy maintenance from around the world. By combining industrial capacities of well-established MROs with Airbus engineering knowledge and digital capabilities, AMA aims to optimize heavy maintenance turnaround time and maximize added-value on the aircraft during shop-visit downtime.

Alliance entrance is based on industrial capabilities, capacities, performance, and quality. Each candidate will be audited by an Airbus team and must demonstrate compliance with Airbus quality and performance standards.

The first AMA members include globally positioned MROs: AAR, Aeroman, Sabena Technics, Etihad Airways Engineering, GAMECO, and China Airlines.

Airbus will enhance MROs’ performance and provide access to services such as FHS, upgrades, and Satair Group parts capability. Airlines can be offered FAA Part 145 turnkey solutions to minimize ground time and maximize value on their aircraft.

Liebherr-Aerospace to overhaul Flybe E-Jet main, nose landing gear

Photo copyright: Flybe

Exeter, U.K.-based regional airline Flybe has awarded Liebherr- Aerospace a contract to overhaul the main and nose landing gear systems on the airline’s fleet of 20 Embraer E175 and E195 E-Jets.

Liebherr-Aerospace will overhaul the jets at its facility in Lindenberg, Germany.

The complete landing gear systems for the Embraer E-Jet family E170, E175, E190, and E195, including the brake systems, were developed and manufactured by the OEM Liebherr-Aerospace Lindenberg GmbH, Liebherr’s center of excellence for flight control and landing gear systems.

Augmented reality MRO support system

Aertec Solutions’ maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) support system offers real-time, remote technical support with augmented reality using an authorized tablet or smartphone. An operator can contact company experts by video conference, setting parameters and sorting tasks. The system records the data for rapid identification and further analysis.

This system is fully compatible with a client’s technology, needing only a mobile device or augmented reality goggles to connect.

Steady growth to 2023 in global aircraft MRO

According to a recent study published by Market Research Future – “Aircraft MRO Market Research Report – Global Forecast to 2023” – the global aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market will witness steady growth, registering 2% CAGR globally from 2016 to 2021.

Driving demand are additive manufacturing of aircraft parts, aircraft retirements, air traffic volume, and aircraft maintenance outsourcing. The modifications market (interiors and connectivity) is forecast to have the strongest growth as the airframe market slows due to reduced man-hour intensity and increased maintenance intervals as new airline fleets are introduced.

The study finds that in 2016, Airbus Group, Air France KLM Engineering & Maintenance, Lufthansa Technik, and ST Aerospace accounted for more than 35% of the global MRO market.

Global military aircraft engine MRO market to grow

Growth in the global military aircraft engine maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market remains steady, driven by more complex components that demand higher parts cost per MRO activity. Frost & Sullivan’s forecast to 2025 indicates regional tensions in Asia-Pacific and interest in new aircraft are further augmenting growth.

North America is the biggest source of military aircraft engine MRO revenues, with fixed-wing engine repair and overhaul the largest spending segment. To sustain growth, aircraft original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) are focusing on selling new aircraft with long-term aftermarket support.

“The most consistent revenue growth will be in trainer aircraft as their replacement is not tied to unit conversions,” says Frost & Sullivan Aerospace & Defense Research Director Michael Blades. “Other revenue strategies include power-by-the-hour formulas in the military engine market, especially for transport and training aircraft.”

Aircraft retirements, fewer purchases, more reliable components, and on-conditional repairs are lowering the demand, frequency, and cost of engine MRO. However, moderate growth is expected in the next eight years due to declining labor costs and an increase in engine parts costs.

“To simplify military manning fluctuations and location infrastructure, engine maintenance is migrating toward OEM partnerships with local companies, contractors, or military depots,” Blades notes. “New aircraft may have local suppliers that form an aftermarket relationship that includes engine MRO.”

Saab, Silver Airways sign PEP agreement

Defense and security company Saab has obtained a four-year parts exchange program (PEP) agreement with Silver Airways, superseding a similar agreement between the two companies. The agreement covers repairs and exchanges for rotables in Silver Airway’s Saab 340 fleet. Silver is the largest U.S. operator of the Saab 340 aircraft, currently operating 21 of the type.

The Saab-Silver contract is a flight-hour agreement where the customer pays a monthly fee rather than part-by-part transactions. This provides the customer with more accurate cost forecasting and reduces the need to stock components.

Since its entry into service in 1984, more than 200 operators in 60 countries have operated the Saab 340.