DUBAI—The Middle East commercial aviation MRO market is growing at a faster rate than the global average and the majority of expenditures are driven by widebody aircraft.
The Boeing 777-8 and -9 will account for the most new aircraft—12% of the 1,900 total aircraft delivered to the region over the decade, according to Aviation Week data.
Airlines in the Middle East will generate $4.6 billion in MRO expenditures in 2015, according to Aviation Week forecasts. Engine expenses account for 41%, followed by components at 22%.
ICF International also predicts the Middle East MRO market at $4.6 billion, but it pegs it to grow 6.7% per year, to $8.8 billion in 10 years, compared to $8.7 billion in Aviation Week’s data.
ICF Principal Richard Brown says 76% of that $4.6 billion is influenced by widebody aircraft, with narrowbodies accounting for 19%.
Four airlines—Emirates (29%), Qatar (15%), Etihad (15%) and Saudia (8%)—account for nearly two-thirds, or about $3 billion of Middle East MRO expenses, Brown says.
Those airlines all have in-house maintenance capabilities, which helps explain why 76% of heavy airframe MRO is done within region. Of that, 81% of is performed in-house by airlines, “which means the opportunity for third-party suppliers targeting Middle East airframe and modifications is relatively small,” Brown says.
Attracting and retaining technical talent has consistently been a challenge, however. “Is there enough capacity in terms of skilled labor to support this growth in region?” Brown asked the Aviation Week MRO Middle East Conference audience. “Can this be supported cost-effectively?”
The consultancy predicts that the Middle East MRO market will require 11.7 million maintenance man-hours to support the region’s growth by 2024, which has a compound annual growth rate of 6.7% compared to the global average of 3.8%.