The amount of the engine aftermarket available to independent MRO providers varies with engine type, age and OEM.
New-generation engines are largely under contract with OEMs, but for current-generation engines, roughly 50% of the market is available. For more mature engines this percentage increases.
In July 2018 CFM made headlines when it signed an agreement with IATA to increase competition in the aftermarket for both its new- and current-generation engines.
MRO service providers interviewed in the forthcoming Engine Yearbook 2019 have welcomed the move with cautious optimism, although many feel it is too early to predict a tectonic shift in the aftermarket.
“I do not believe it [the CFM-IATA deal] will increase [maintenance] capacity, but it will increase the competitiveness of the market,” says Peter Turner, president of StandardAero’s airlines & fleets division.
Although OEMs have become increasingly involved in MRO for maturing engines, it is important to note that they cannot satisfy demand by themselves, nor do they want to.
That said, independent MRO providers will need to intensify their cooperation with OEMs in order to access both engine MRO contracts and, potentially, intellectual property (IP)-protected repair licenses.
Data access is another key point. “I see a challenge in the ownership, exchange and management of data, when it comes to temperatures and pressures in engines and how they affect reliability and the time on-wing,” says Frank Walschot, CEO at SR Technics.
To find out more about the prospects of non-OEM maintenance providers in the engine aftermarket, see the forthcoming Engine Yearbook 2019.