Page 10 - AAA NOVEMBER - DECEMBER 2015 Online Magazine
P. 10


        The market for landing gear
        MRO is changing as older aircraft
        leave service and newer types
        appear on the horizon
         weight can reach almost 395.000 kg. As a   proportion of labour in the cost structure   does seem that during the next few years
         result, this part of an aircraft is among the   (up to 67 per cent of overall maintenance   all of the players will have an opportunity
         ones to undergo the most inspections and   cost). It means that landing gear overhaul   to have a bite of the landing gear MRO
         is a steady source of business for MRO   is the most profitable to the service   pie,” says Jurkstas.
         providers.                         providers which maintain direct contact   “Another key element in the landing
                                            with their customers and have in-house   gear MRO development is the substantial
         Market Outlook                     repair capabilities. This is why, for the   investment the MROs have to make in
         The global landing gear maintenance   last decade OEMs have been putting a   buying landing gear sets for exchange.
         market saw a growth of 130 per cent from   lot of efforts into entering the market   Many airlines are becoming increasingly
         2008  to  2013  and  is  estimated  to  reach   (currently they account for almost 40 per   reluctant to purchase spare sets,
         US$1,11 billion by 2022.           cent of it), as they see the landing gear   preferring to rely on pool items and short-
           Currently North America and Europe   overhaul sector as an opportunity to get   term leases. This has driven the landing
         account for up to 62 per cent of the landing   back a portion of their investments in the   gear MRO industry to carry this financial
         gear  MRO  market.  However,  in  recent   development and manufacturing of gears   burden. In addition to that, independent
         times the demand in the region has been   and components               MROs have been feeling the OEMs are
         on the decline. The trend could be partly   “Although competition is always   making it difficult for them to compete
         attributed to the extended overhaul cycles   productive, the growing presence of OEMs   on a level playing field, as they have been
         as  well as  the introduction  of modern   in the market could be perceived as a   drastically increasing spare-asset pricing.
         landing gears. These are nowadays   negative trend as it poses the difficulties   Although the OEMs are certainly
         commonly designed to last for the life   related to obtaining instructions for   becoming more dominant, they still realise
         of the aircraft or an average of 80.000   continued airworthiness and the use of   they cannot support the demand on their
         flight hours. Nevertheless, the rapidly   non-OEM as well as PMA parts under   own and consequently - some more than
         growing emerging markets outweigh the   OEM warranties,” says Jurkstas.  others - work alongside reputable repair
         decreasing demand in the U.S. and the                                  shops in the support of their product.
         Old Continent.                     OEM Challenge                       “Thus, although the technological and
                                            The vast majority of current overhauls   investment hurdles might be high, for
         Competition as High as Ever        are still being performed by non-OEM   those  competitors  willing  and  able  to
         Although it may seem that such a busy   providers, who can offer a wider product   surmount them, the rewards for staying
         segment has a place for everyone, the   range, as well as strict and innovative   in the race could be very worthwhile,”
         competition is as high as ever. Landing   focus on developing new and smart repair   concludes Jurkstas.
         gear MRO is one of a few component   schemes to salvage parts. “In any case,
         MRO  segments  characteristic  of  a  high   considering the upcoming demand, it
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