Aviation Week Ranks Biggest Airframe MROs

By Lee Ann Tegtmeier
Source: Aviation Week & Space Technology

In addition to components and engine capabilities, MROs are expanding backshop offerings—especially for facilities that produce fewer than 1 million man-hours.

Take Adria Airways Tehnika, which is adding interior, sheetmetal, composite and paint services, reports Deputy CEO Mirjana Ceh, whose Slovenian MRO performed 300,000 base maintenance man-hours, plus another 65,000 for line maintenance at its Ljubljana Airport base. She expects a 15% growth in airframe-related services this year, some of which will come from increasing demand for modification work.

Given the MRO market consolidation, strong pricing pressure, overcapacity in some of the mature markets, and declining maintenance requirements for next-generation aircraft coming online, MROs will need to focus on productivity, competitive services and value. And expect the biggest to become even bigger.

AAR started operating part of a former Northwest Airlines facility in Duluth, Minn., in 2011, thereby expanding its network to five facilities. But it “continues to look for viable opportunities to expand both domestically and internationally,” says a company spokesman. AAR's total man-hours increased 33.5%, from 3.46 million in 2011, and it anticipates growing by 5-10% this year, compared to 2012.

Turkish Technic purchased MNG Teknik in May, which expands its offerings into 757 and 767 maintenance, as well as A300-600 cargo conversions. In 2012, Turkish alone performed 133 C and D checks, and it has 2.8 million man-hours of capacity for heavy maintenance, plus another 1.2 million for component MRO.

Its Habom facility that is scheduled to open by year-end will add another 370,000 sq. meters (4 million sq. ft.) of hangar and workshop space at Sabiha Gokcen International Airport in Istanbul. In addition to heavy maintenance, this location also will be home to the Turkish cabin interiors and seats industry—making it an “aviation campus” for both MRO and manufacturing, according to the company.

But at the same time, medium-size and niche players are flexing their strengths, as well.

Commercial Jet, which completed 800,000 airframe maintenance man-hours in 2012, purchased Pemco World Air Services' former complex at Dothan Regional Airport in Alabama to serve as an overflow facility for its Miami operation. Pemco declined to participate in our survey this year, however, two years ago it logged 1.3 million airframe maintenance man-hours.

Airborne Maintenance and Engineering Services, which completed 600,000 heavy maintenance and component man-hours in 2012, started building a two-bay widebody hangar in January, adjacent to its existing facilities in Wilmington, Ohio, that it plans to occupy by the end of first-quarter 2014.

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