Paris Air Show Aftermarket Deals Are A Big Deal

Non-OEM agreements were both plentiful and substantial, a true bellwether of the strength of the MRO market.

Although billion-dollar aircraft and engine orders captured most of the headlines at the Paris Air Show, the event was the stage for a multitude of aftermarket announcements.

For starters, Lufthansa Technik and GE Aviation agreed to open a GEnx-2B/GE9X overhaul joint venture in 2018.

AAR and South African Airways Technical signed an agreement to establish a joint venture to increase SAA’s efficiencies.

Sabena Technics received French Civil Aviation Authority maintenance approval for the Airbus A350. Building on its A380 experience, it will provide MRO and airworthiness management organization services for the new aircraft.

Hop! Air France selected Liebherr-Aerospace to overhaul landing gear on its Embraer E170 and E190s.

AFI KLM E&M signed several component support agreements, including with Gulf Air, Royal Jordanian and Transavia, as well as a GE90 engine service contract with Air China Cargo. 

Aero Precision and Saudi Aerospace Co.’s logistics company agreed to launch a joint venture to provide logistics and component MRO.

Taikoo Engine Services (Xiamen), part of Haeco, completed its 200th GE90 overhaul.

IBM made a big splash on the technology side by announcing a $3 billion investment over the next four years in its Internet of Things unit to build solutions for complex assets, such as aircraft. To this end, IBM has partnered with Airbus to develop two versions of Maximo for Aviation—one dedicated to MRO and a broader one that works across an entire life-cycle of a fleet.

In addition to the IBM announcement and $57 billion in orders for 421 aircraft, Airbus revealed a new freighter conversion program with Elbe Flugzeugwerke and ST Aerospace; an agreement with EasyJet to retrofit 105 of its A320s, and a partnership with TunisAir to establish local A320 and A330 maintenance training services in Tunisia.

Like Airbus, life-cycle support news loomed large with other OEMs, too—more so than in previous years.

Bombardier Commercial Aircraft appointed Samco Aircraft Maintenance as the first authorized service facility for its C Series family. It also added SpiceJet, LOT Polish Airlines and Falcon Aviation Services to its Smart Parts aftermarket support program for Q400s.

Boeing revealed orders for 331 aircraft valued at $50.2 billion, and talked about potential military upgrades.

In preparation for the geared turbofan’s entry into service late this year, Pratt & Whitney revealed that it accelerated its support network developments for the engine—including adding a third training facility, in Hyderabad, India; assembling a field personnel team focused on entry-into-service readiness; creating a 10-engine lease pool; and formally launching its MRO network. It also discussed a big data analytics project designed to improve predictive maintenance modeling.

GE Aviation and CFM, its joint venture with Snecma, unveiled $19 billion in orders, of which up to $5 billion is allocated to services. Two OnPoint Solutions deals alone are valued at $550 million each—one with Jetstar for GEnx-1Bs and the other with SkyWest Airlines for CF34-8E material support. One of CFM’s biggest MRO scores in Paris is a 20-year rate-per-flight-hour deal covering 122 Leap-1B engines to power Air Canada’s 61 Boeing 737 MAXs.

Several of Rolls-Royce’s announcements focused on aftermarket contracts, too—including TotalCare agree--ments with Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways and Finnair.

Clearly, the aftermarket is moving to the forefront.

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