The landscape for smaller, independent MROs is a lot more positive in 2018 than it was a decade ago with companies benefiting from repair demand on legacy airframe and engine programs, believes Holger Lipowsky, a partner at consultancy Roland Berger.
“10 years ago, independent companies were in a difficult position, especially the very small ones which would have faced tough prospects against airline-affiliated MROs and OEMs who were heading towards growth in the aftermarket” Lipowsky told MRO-Network.com at Aviation Week Network's Aero-Engines conference in Hamburg.
"However, since then, the smaller MROs have been quite smart and supported by other market developments such as prolonged demand for legacy engine types, they have found a way of surviving,” he says. “They’ve looked for their niche, which has been providing additional capacity for prolonged MRO work particularly on legacy programs.”
Despite natural competition and an abundance of aftermarket players, Lipowsky says the overall environment of the MRO segment is ultimately tailored towards servicing demand and there is enough work going for everyone. “There will always be competition, but many have understood that they can only win if they are an active part of this overall environment,” he adds.
Lipowsky also foresees long-term stability in the MRO industry, despite current aftermarket challenges centered on shop capacity and performance.
For more on the prospects of independent, smaller MROs, pick up the October edition of Inside MRO.