The demand for used parts has significantly increased over the last few years, according to Sylvain Gorse, project manager for strategy and portfolio at Satair. “The demand is both external, from our customers, and internal, for Airbus out-of-production aircraft and program support,” Gorse observes.
Satair predicts that the used-part market will continue growing faster than the 5% rate forecast by Oliver Wyman in the next 10 years. Satair’s own used-part business has been growing quickly over the last few years, and the Airbus division has a special department in place dedicated to the used-parts business. It currently focuses on covering Airbus airframe parts and components, and the company has acquired several A330s, A340s, A320s, A310s and A300s for dismantling.
Gorse says Satair has a competitive advantage in this business due to its access to worldwide customers, technical and engineering know-how on Airbus platforms and Airbus’s own reputation for quality. The company wants to become the market leader for used parts and ultimately to support multiple platforms, including Airbus and Boeing aircraft and regional aircraft, plus engines.
So Satair has partnered with a strong used part player. In April 2017, it entered a strategic cooperation agreement with VAS Aero Services. In April 2018, Satair and VAS expanded their cooperation to include market-critical airframe and engine products.
Americas and Europe are the biggest markets for used parts, and Gorse says there is a growing interest coming from Asia-Pacific.
But on the supply side, some assets are still priced very high. “The current market environment for used aircraft trading is difficult,” Gorse says. “There are many assets being retired and offered for sale, but the acquisition price is often too high, which does not always represent an attractive business case.”
Satair's core proposition will remain acting as a supply-chain material integrator, supplying both new and used parts and act as a one-stop shop for material solutions.