A close-up on Paris (4)

One trade fair, four stories – check out the most interesting news stories and background information from the Paris Air Show every day. Taking place at Le Bourget Airport every two years, the event is the largest and most important air show in Europe and a must-attend for anyone in the industry. MTU hosts a 300-square-meter booth with numerous exhibits, and a hospitality chalet.

An MRO market amidst change

Shortly before the Paris Air Show, aviation leaders from all continents gathered for yet another important event in early June: the Annual General Assembly of the International Air Transport Association (IATA). The meeting of some 1,000 delegates from over the world is also an important platform for the discussion of current topics of interest in passenger and cargo air transportation. This time Willie Walsh, CEO of IAG, parent of British Airways and Iberia, raised concerns about airlines’ maintenance costs, as industry newswire Flightglobal reports.

In fact, growing cost awareness is one of the drivers of some trends in the engine maintenance market, observes Marko Niffka, a specialist for the development of the maintenance business at MTU. Above all, Niffka notes “competition in the engine MRO market that continues to get stiffer and stiffer and a rising demand for comprehensive solutions, such as, for example, packages including engine leases.” This is to say that airlines want to focus on their core business – flying – and prefer to leave the maintenance, repair and overhaul of their aircraft and engines to specialized service providers that can do this job more efficiently.

Paris Air Show at „Le Bourget“

In the last few years, a mega trend – one that seems to be here to stay – has been Flight Hour Agreements, that is long-term MRO service agreements negotiated by the OEM alongside the engine purchase contract. MTU is restructuring its organization in response to this changed market environment, while at the same time continuing to pursue its business as an independent engine services provider. There are still many customers for independent maintenance services out there. “A lot of independent MRO work will be required especially for the older engine types in future,” according to Niffka.

Asia is deemed to be the largest growth market in aviation, and hence also for engine MRO, so that this region is of key importance to MTU Maintenance. “But, you know, we actually take a very customer-driven approach,” says Niffka. “In other words: For us, any customer that comes to us is always the most important customer in the market most important to us right at that moment.”

The Airbus A320 "D-ATRA" was deployed by the German Aerospace Center (Deutsches Zentrum für Luft- und Raumfahrt; DLR) in late 2008. ATRA (Advanced Technology Research Aircraft) is a modern and flexible flight test platform which sets a new benchmark for flying test beds in European aerospace research.