MRO AMERICAS: Conflicting trends temper MRO forecasts, expectations still high

New technology and volatile fuel prices make forecasting difficult but forecasters speaking at MRO Americas are still predicting a $100 billion plus market by 2025.

The challenges ahead will fundamentally change how the industry will work and, according to Cavok vice president David Marcontelli, will cut or re-distribute industry revenue by up to 20% or a whopping $15 billion.

The MRO industry is expected to grow 4.1% on average to $100.4 billion in value from the current global value of $67.1 billion during the period. Most of that growth will come from engine and component work as new technologies ameliorate airframe heavy maintenance costs.

Cavok expects more than 10,000 new air transport jet and turboprop aircraft deliveries worldwide over the next decade through to 2025 or about 3.7% annually. The passenger fleet alone is expected to grow 3.8% annually, led by narrowbody aircraft, from 13,124 aircraft in the worldwide fleet to 21,089, while the regional aircraft mix will decline over the period from 3,396 today to 2,906 aircraft, mostly on upguaging. Turboprop aircraft, which now account for 2,721 aircraft will grow by 2.5% annually until 2020 and another 1% through to 2025 for a total of 3,232 aircraft.

The industry is shifting from being North American-centric to Asia-Pacific-centric as the mature North American and Western European markets refleet. By 2025, North America will be surpassed by the Asia-Pacific which will have 11,000+ aircraft to North America’s 8,000+. Their fleets are, respectively about 6,500 and 7,500, today. Cavok also said that 43% of new aircraft deliveries will be for replacement, not new growth. Today, 63% of the fleet was delivered in the 1990s and that will drop to 46% by 2025.

Marcontelli noted that an increased share of the aftermarket for the newest generation aircraft will drive increased OEM participation in the aftermarket while new repair capabilities will impact decisions necessary to enter new markets for each airframe engine and component repairs. Health monitoring and predictive maintenance will reduce time-on-tool requirements for individual checks with fewer repairs.

Those who design the best algorithms and most rigorous data management, he said, will drive a critical new source of value to the aftermarket. Technological chances will include additive manufacturing and wearable technology, but the biggest change will come from the rise of health monitoring and predictive maintenance systems.

Marcontelli cautioned, however, that Big Data will come with its own challenges including the fundamental question as to who owns the data. That question may require third-party analysis of aircraft data and trends to avoid potential conflicts of interest with original equipment manufacturers who may have ulterior motives of parts sales in monitoring the health of the aircraft.

Kathryn Creedy, contributor, Low-Fare & Regional Airlines/
Miami, FL, USA

Photo courtesy of MTU Maintenance.

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