Magnetic MRO has become part of Boeing’s GoldCare network of aftermarket providers. How did this come about?
It’s a combination of two things. First, Magnetic MRO has extensive experience with the Boeing fleet. We’ve maintained these aircraft since 1995 when we performed our first ever C-check on a 737 Classic. This naturally developed to Boeing NG aircraft, and now the 737 MAX variant. Line and base maintenance services will be a feature for this aircraft type in the GoldCare partnership. Second, it is no secret that Boeing is ambitious in their aftermarket strategy. This has produced a number of other GoldCare partner announcements. Boeing approached us earlier this year and we were delighted to become part of the network.
How did the process from being approached through to the May announcement play out?
It was surprisingly smooth and played out pretty quickly. When approached in early 2017, legal discussions, assessment of our performance and financial aspects were all quickly completed surprisingly fast. The whole process took around three months in total. Having EASA and FAA approval also eased the process, as did the fact we were well acquainted with Boeing in other areas including directly buying spare parts from them.
What’s the current ratio of Magnetic’s hangar-based work and will this change through joining the GoldCare program?
Around 15 to 18 per cent of work emanates from the hangar. The rest is everything else – trading, engine management and engineering services. GoldCare will make a useful contribution to the hangars and line maintenance operations, but we won’t forget Magnetic’s huge jump in revenues which stand around the €70 million ($78.2 million) mark.
How does this play into Magnetic’s longer-term strategy of the next three to five years?
In the industry, will be more than enough work for everyone. The key question will be what kind of customers will we be maintaining? Will it be premium airlines, traditionally easy to work with, or tougher customers with complex demands? The 737 MAX will play a big role in our future capabilities, along with the 787 which is also included in our GoldCare agreement. We don’t offer 787 services just yet but that will definitely change in the near future. Hangar maintenance will likely remain the same with no expansions planned, other than the opening of our paint facility in November 2017. In addition, a lot of focus will be placed on line maintenance work in the next three to five years.
The interiors market is also expected to boom in the next decade. In February 2016 Magnetic bought UK-based MAC Interiors. What changes have been made to this business in the past 16 months?
The business needed some changes – there were delays on deliveries and some of its leasing customers remarked on its great reputation but felt attention was required. This resulted in a number of management changes and also some investment in promoting the company in areas of marketing. The company has had great customers throughout its long history of more than half a century, including Emirates, Qantas and B/E Aerospace in the recent past. It’s a case of demonstrating the company’s quality all over again and attracting more customers of this calibre to work with MAC.