Regionally, the picture is a changing of the guard, albeit slowly, because landing gear come into shops long after delivery. North America will demand fewer main-gear overhauls each year, but its total over three years will still be nearly half of the global total. Europe similarly shows a declining trend by year but accounts for almost one-quarter of total demand in the period.
Rapidly growing Asia-Pacific airlines will account for nearly a fifth of demand in 2013-15. The Middle East and Latin America, with growing but still young fleets, will together account for less than 10% of total demand. Africa will represent about 4%.
Overhaul shops appear ready for the work, with perhaps some concern about the spare landing gear necessary to support overhauls.
Messier-Bugatti-Dowty prefers to focus on gear for newer models, investing in new technologies and spares to add value in overhauls, says Alan Doherty, VP for sales and business development. Airbus A300-600s will be flying for another 5-6 years, however, and Messier will support them.
The company is busy maintaining several gear lines and Doherty expects this fast pace to continue.
Its core business is the A320 family, and Messier is the leader in this market with a 35-40% share of landing-gear overhauls. The company also leads in supporting A330s and A340s with around half the market.
Messier is heavily involved with 777 gear and has a Boeing service center in Asia. The ability to overhaul 777 and 737 gear allows Messier to provide a complete suite of services to carriers that fly both Airbus and Boeing jets. On 737NGs, the company is active in Mexico and Latin America.
“We are the only MRO shop that can do the full line of landing gear in each of three regions, Europe, North America and Asia-Pacific,” Doherty stresses. “Others have to ship gear between regions.” With two shops in Europe, one in Mexico and one in Singapore, Messier needs to ship landing gear across oceans only when a peak in demand stretches regional capacity.
China generates plenty of demand, but Messier also sees increasing work from low-cost carriers in Asia and the Pacific Rim. “That will increase dramatically in the next five years,” Doherty predicts. “Like others, we are keeping an eye on India, trying to figure out what is going on there.”