Africa has enormous potential for MRO growth due to its relatively young aviation market and rapidly increasing population. What aftermarket needs do African carriers have and what untapped needs exist?
Africa’s young carriers need an MRO having strong expertise in the field of aircraft maintenance as well as proven flexibility to support their operations. ATI is able to perform all kind of check for Airbus A320 family and Boeing 737NG in Casablanca, from the smallest to the heaviest check, and is able to support its customers in their home base in case of need. The offer is completed by the mother company’s support, AFI KLM E&M, for components and engines. Technician training is also important for the region, so we’ve also factored this support into our offering.
Where do you foresee the biggest markets for ATI?
The biggest market for ATI is southern Europe and airlines operating across the entire African continent. Demand from these areas has led to our expansion in terms of capacity and capability. Last year, we logged a total of 507 checks for the A320 family and 737 new generation aircraft, along with 12 D-checks and around 35 C-checks. Since opening a fourth maintenance line in late 2016, further customers from these regions have come on board.
OEMs are trying to grab a bigger share of the aftermarket, with Boeing Global Services recently announcing that it plans to grow revenue to about $50bn annually in the next decade. How does OEM incursion impact on your business?
Boeing is not yet in the airframe maintenance market in this area of the world. Our direct competitors are MROs having very aggressive prices and mainly based in the Middle East or European MROs, riding the fear of some European airlines to take maintenance outside Europe. OEM incursion has also led to direct impacts on everything from the price of parts, certain engineering approvals and tools which are required for the maintenance check.
Where does Aerotechnic Industries stand on the development of its capability for new-generation products?
ATI is planning to extend its capability to 737Max and A320neo aircraft. We’ll likely be ready in 2019 for the 737 MAX and able to perform heavy maintenance check at the same level than the 737NG up to the D check. Shortly after, the A320neo will follow.
Africa is not an easy environment to operate in, yet AFI is the result of a successful 30-year partnership and is still going strong. To what do you attribute your longevity?
ATI has targeted combining the excellence of quality at competitive rates with a high level of flexibility for customers. It is important that we are able to find an adequate answer for any issue related to maintenance. This provided service is greatly aided by the support from our parent company for engines, equipment, engineering and modification.
Tommaso Auriemma, CEO of AeroTechnic Industries