MRO Titans Facing Increased Competition from OEMs, Each Other

Giants251Depending on who you talk to, the global MRO market (engine and airframes combined) is currently worth anywhere from $50.0 billion (Frost & Sullivan) to upwards of $55 billion-$60 billion (FL Technics). What these experts agree on is that the market is definitely growing. For instance, Frost & Sullivan’s Wayne Plucker (the company’s industry manager, Aerospace & Defense) sees the global MRO market as “being worth $62 billion in five years time,” up more than $10 billion from his current $50.0 billion estimate.

Of course, some areas are growing faster than others. Specifically, “The North American and European markets are showing slow growth rates while the growth in Asia and the Middle East are accelerating,” said Marcel Versteeg. He is owner and managing director of VZM Management Services, an aviation consultancy based in Sassenheim, The Netherlands.

Later, we will look more closely at what is driving these various regions. But before we do, consider who the titans of MRO are.

In general, the titans’ ranks remain unchanged from the previous year. In fact, “we have not really seen a change of the MRO titans in the last five years,” Versteeg said. In the Top Five, it is engine OEMs such as GE, Pratt & Whitney, and Rolls-Royce who lead the pack, based on their turnover. Following them are Lufthansa Technik (LHT) and Air France Industries-KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AFIKLM) remain on top, said Versteeg. “Of the last two, we have seen AFIKLM more and more focussing itself on the components and engines business as they have missed the battle for airframe maintenance. Both of their divisions hardly perform any C-checks for customers, and have no worldwide network like LHT to perform base/heavy maintenance in lower labor cost countries,” he said.

Up-and-coming to the titan’s ranks is the UAE’s Mubadala Aerospace, which has acquired Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) and SR Technics (SRT) in a bid to gain market share. Still, this newly consolidated company has a turnover that is only a third of the smallest of the Top Five MROs. As a result, “they are now about same size as ST Aerospace, another worldwide player,” noted Versteeg.


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