With indications that the MRO and aftermarket sectors are bouncing back, Keith Mwanalushi gathers industry leaders, including AerFin's James Bennett to discuss the key priorities for 2022 and analyse the challenges that will likely persist.
Recovery might be on the horizon, but we are certainly not out of the woods yet as an industry. James Bennett, Commercial Director at AerFin echoes similar sentiments saying organisations flexed resource in accordance with reduced activity levels and are now, in some cases, struggling to re-recruit and position themselves for the eventual upturn. “We are already seeing elongated lead times on component repair, and this is before the market recovers to 2019 levels, which we’re expecting to be anywhere between mid to the end of 2023. This will be redressed but we anticipate more pain for all in 2022 before the supply chain has fully recovered.”
Reducing costs has always been important for airlines, but as Bennett sees it, this pandemic has brought all cost saving initiatives much more sharply into focus. “As we know material is the biggest component of any MRO event, whether engine or airframe, so naturally we see increased demand for USM being one of the big opportunity areas.”
AerFin is already seeing numerous airlines reviewing existing contracts to see whether there’s any way USM or reduced material costs can be provisioned for. “In addition to USM, more cost-effective maintenance options are another area that we’re already working with our customers to support,” says Bennett. He highlights that quick turn maintenance activity was already being asked of the industry pre-pandemic and was mainly why AerFin decided to launch the ‘MRO Lite’ service offering at its EASA/FAA certified facility – “We expect this to continue to form part of operators’ future strategies.”
Full article available to read here