Although, according to the recent IATA forecast, 2013 is still going to be profitless for the European commercial airlines, Boeing data shows a steady increase in air traffic. Based on the recent numbers the market has got back onto its feet and its players have even managed to improve performance since the financial crisis of 2008. Such a trend, accompanied by the increasing number of aircraft in the industry, is likely to raise the demand for line services, and, in turn, boost the demand for the experienced MRO specialists in the upcoming years.
During the last few years the commercial aviation market has faced a decline due to the implications of the global financial crisis. Nevertheless, despite the fact that the statistics still indicate unprofitability (according to AEA, in 2013 the European sector will lose up to $1.5 billion), the overall progress and speed of market development allows most aviation industry players to be optimistic. Although the rapidly expanding Asian market with its steady demand for new aircraft and specialists remains the main factor in the process of that recovery, the statistics for Europe are also quite promising.
“According to the most recent forecasts, the numbers as concerns both traffic and aircraft in Europe have been steadily rising since 2008 and are expected to double during the upcoming 20 years. The expectation of 7 460 new aircraft in the region, accompanied by the forecasted passenger traffic (which is expected to reach up to 1 448 billion of RPKs until 2032) paint quite an optimistic picture,” says the CEO of AviationCV.com, Skaiste Knyzaite. “Of course, this kind of development will create a high demand for trained personnel, from experienced pilots to certified maintenance specialists. In fact, the signs of these processes are already noticeable.”
For quite a while now the steadily increasing scope of business activities within the aviation industry has been contributing to an increased number of new jobs for experienced technicians. Moreover, with the new generation of aircraft slowly replacing the older one, the maintenance sector will call for requalification so it could meet all the relevant requirements. All this, accompanied by the fact that the current generation of technicians will eventually retire, suggests that Europe will face the demand for 129,700 new technicians in the continent alone.
The other factor affecting the demand for maintenance specialists is the rising popularity of low cost carriers in the Europe. The number of seats offered by low cost carriers in this region has been steadily increasing by an average of 14% per year. The business models of such carriers presuppose a very high frequency of flights thus creating the demand for routine checks and inspections as part of line maintenance service. The latter are crucial in the everyday operation of an airline due to the direct impact it can have on operational performance, including the reduction of the number of AOG situations (as they can cost an airline up to $150 000 per hour), which is especially important during the summer. In turn, the MRO or ground handling providers will have to meet such requirements with necessary expansion.
“Needless to say, the changing market will primarily affect training providers, since the industry will be expecting to be granted a sufficient number of local maintenance professionals. At the same time, since these processes require time, the development of the industry is keeping the recruitment companies busy as well, since they need to demonstrate the knowledge and capability to provide their clients’ maintenance centres with various types of engineers and other technical staff, fully certified for all the necessary repair and overhaul services,” shares Skaiste. “On the other hand, such trends in aircraft maintenance management open up new job opportunities not only for the companies, but for the technicians themselves. The European airspace is becoming increasingly busy, which is especially relevant to professionals in search of a job that doesn’t necessarily involve moving to Asia or the Middle East, since now they can choose from potential employment destinations that are closer to their home.”