Asia is expected to provide the biggest demand for component maintenance over the next decade, and many European and U.S. manufacturers and MRO providers have established subsidiaries and joint ventures in the region to take advantage.
Among these is Air France Industries KLM E&M Components China, which has just won a long-term contract to support mainly avionics parts for Spring Airlines’ Airbus A320 fleet, which numbers 78 aircraft.
AFI KLM E&M’s Chinese facility will perform the work on a cost-pre-flight-hour basis.
In its 2017 results, AFI KLM E&M warned of thinning margins for its components business due to increasing competition, but this hasn’t stopped it from ratcheting up its own capabilities, especially in Asia, where it has component service centers in China and Singapore.
The contract with Spring Airlines, one of China’s few privately owned carriers, “marks a key step in the development of our workshop for companies in China and Asia,” says Paul Sun, CEO of AFI KLM E&M Components China.
The Shanghai facility offers repair and logistics services for a range of A320, A330 and Boeing 737 components, and is developing capabilities on the 777, 787 and A350.
Initially focused on avionics repairs, it was launched in 2013 and received EASA Part 145 approval in 2015, then its FAA 145 repair station license in 2017.
Over the next decade, Aviation Week forecasts that the leading markets for component maintenance will be Asia, North America and Europe, worth $102 billion, $82 billion and $81 billion respectively.
Globally, Aviation Week predicts that over the same period component MRO for Boeing aircraft is set to be worth roughly $158 billion, versus $133 billion for Airbus types.