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04 May 2022

CFM56: Engine maintenance ramps up while material costs rise

Keith Mwanalushi, Editor at AviTrader MRO Aerospace Magazine examines the post-pandemic recovery of the popular CFM56 platform, the trends in costs and supply for engine materials and the key considerations for upgrading to a full shop visit

Speaking to Simon Walker, VP Asset Management at AerFin, Simon said: "Much of the recovery is coming from the U.S and Europe where MROs are increasing their activity and flying schedules. “However, there is still limited activity from Asia due to the lack of aircraft utilisation and still lack of widespread maintenance plan visibility due to the prolonged COVID recovery,” observes Simon Walker, VP Asset Management at AerFin.

In general, however, MROs and aftermarket specialists are seeing a significant increase in USM demand as flying schedules return and airlines have the confidence to prepare longterm maintenance events for their fleets. “Additionally, as operators bring aircraft out of long-term storage, we are seeing instances where engines are failing inspections due to corrosion and therefore heading into shop for overhaul,”
states Walker.

As the appetite grows for teardown assets so does the purchasing price,creating an increasingly competitive purchasing environment, Walker indicates. “However, that being said, we are seeing that the pricing for USM and tech insertion material is steadily returning to pre-pandemic levels, driven by both demand and the delays in the global repair network.

At AerFin, they have noticed significant increases in the cost to repair material, especially when compared against the catalogue prices – “It is believed that OEM material shortages and price increases are driving this up-turn.

Meanwhile, MROs are experiencing extensive turn-around-times (TAT) on parts sent for repair, with many repairs exceeding 75 days on average. AerFin is working with a wide network of vendors to try and mitigate these turn-around times for operators, but it is undoubtedly a trend felt across the industry.