We are recruiting. 

Find out more »

03 Oct 2022

Ageing fleets: Component support amid supply chain woes

Arlines were not prepared for the scale at which the industry would ramp up operations following the start of the post-Covid period. Aviation experts had predicted the recovery would start from 2024 onwards so airlines and MROs anticipated to utilise this ‘grace period’ to plan their resurrection more effectively. Instead, this created huge anxiety in the marke to return to pre-pandemic behaviours by as early 2021.

Editor of AviTrader MRO Monthly Magazine, Keith Mwanalushi speaks to AerFin's Mark Shimizu, VP Sales EMEA & ASPAC, to discuss the surge in demand for aircraft component services particularly on mature fleets and the current supply chain chaos might just influence the acceptance of alternative solutions.

During the pandemic, several operators were forced to move away from their incumbent component support providers as they were being serviced via inflexible traditional power by the hour pooling arrangements which left them beholden to paying for minimum flight hour guarantees. Mark Shimizu, Head of Sales at Inventory at AerFin believes these were clearly not achievable during these prolonged periods of minimum or non-operation.

“A large number of operators are experiencing significant delays with deliveries of the latest generation replacement aircraft which is in turn extending the operational life of the legacy fleets and generating increased use of USM, with operators seeking more robust longer term support solutions,” notes Shimizu.

With ‘post-Covid’ demand now in full swing, AerFin see various operators looking to reengage with alternative suppliers who are willing to offer more flexible and creative solutions. Shimizu feels such solutions will still require providing the same (or improved) levels of component availability and reliability whilst maintaining a consistency of forecastable spend. “To minimise potential costs, some operators have been open to hybrid solutions which offer programme coverage of just the operational high-risk parts, this can be seen as sharing risk with the supplier,” he states.

Whilst some operators continue to satisfy own demand from owned inventory (predominantly in North America), several are reverting to looking for single source suppliers (or to streamline their existing network
of suppliers at the very least). Post pandemic, many operations are still working with skeleton staff and are not adequately resourced to manage multiple suppliers. Shimizu sees component providers with comprehensive stock holding of serviceable inventory on the shelf, coupled with resource dedicated to these operators are best placed to become the partner of choice.