Airlines’ changing line maintenance needs can be hard to fulfill by aftermarket service providers.
For example, as maintenance checks get broken into shorter phased checks and tasks such as engine or landing gear changes shift from base to line maintenance, line needs become more complex, says Tamas Juhasz, Wizz Air’s purchasing manager, speaking at Aviation Week Network’s MRO Baltics, Eastern Europe and Russia conference.
Depending on the phased maintenance required on the line, LOT Aircraft Maintenance Services says “we prefer to do the trickier MRO tasks at our home base,” where it has more resources and can better accommodate last minute changes, says Lukasz Siwinski, executive director or the Polish MRO.
Juhasz also cites Wizz Air’s diversifying network as another potential problem because “we fly to airports that don’t have much infrastructure,” which can “be a very challenging demand for MROs,” especially if aircraft-on-the-ground situations arise that mandate prompt reaction. In addition, ensuring qualified staff, tooling and spare inventory—yet priced competitively, can be a challenge.
“Everything is possible, but both parties need to understand what’s involved,” says Karolis Statkus, FL Technics’ head of line maintenance.
Line maintenance constitutes $12.8 billion of Oliver Wyman’s $75.6 billion 2017 MRO forecast, says Robbie Bourke, a Cavok principal.