One major challenge, or perhaps opportunity, for Chinese airlines is opening up more and allowing additional sources of parts procurement, according to Chris Anderson, director of quality assurance at Iowa-based sourcing, trading and tear-down specialist MidAmerican Aerospace. The QA Director says Chinese airlines have been opening up, and he thinks they could benefit by continuing this trend.
Chinese attitudes toward PMA parts have improved over the years and continue to do so. But Anderson says this is often because PMA parts are the only option for a lot of replacement parts, so Chinese airlines often have no choice but to seek PMAs.
A similar pattern exists in Chinese procurement of used parts. Chines attitudes have opened significantly, “but similar to PMA parts, it is often the only option,” Anderson says. “It can be difficult at times to get certain parts in a timely manner from some of the OEMS, and with so many classics flying in Asia, it’s impossible to get new parts. So used parts in many cases are the only option.”
The MidAmerican exec would like to see Chinese airlines look at PMAs and used parts the way some major U.S. carriers do, as potential cost savers or sometimes, in the case of PMAs, reliability improvers, even when new parts are available.
Anderson predicts that, even if only due to rapid growth, Chinese demand for both used and PMA parts will grow rapidly. In any case, this is a market too big to ignore. MidAmerican has not done a lot of business in China in the past, but Anderson attended a conference in China last year on spares and PMA parts, and will be there again in 2019.