Within the next decade the aviation market will be steadily shifting towards the East. Extensive investments into the aviation infrastructure and logistics, expanding and constantly updated aircraft fleets as well as increasing passenger flows will definitely impel the MRO sector to concentrate on the Middle East, especially the North African and Asian regions. Last year airlines based in the area placed exceptionally large aircraft orders. Nonetheless, as Locatory.com points out, the quality and diversity of aircraft technical support services remain largely inferior to those offered in the West. Moreover, the region is still faced with the shortage of high quality MRO services, engine components as well as other aircraft parts.
In the last ten years the situation in the Middle East aviation market has changed immensely and, according to the latest forecast, within the next eight years the number of air passengers in the region is expected to double, i.e. reach 386 million in 2020. The Team SAI data suggests that in the upcoming decade aircraft fleet in the Middle East will increase from 808 to 1482. During the last Dubai Air Show alone the largest regional airlines placed orders for over 170 new aircraft. In the meantime, by 2020 the current USD 3 billion worth MRO market is predicted to top USD 54 billion.
“The Middle East market is currently experiencing an exceptionally high local demand. However, although in the last couple of years the region has received some major capital injections, local technical service providers still manage to satisfy only 5% of the demand for engines and 20% for other aircraft components. Local MROs must increasingly concentrate on the bestselling engines and aircraft parts. After all, the sector is becoming more and more attractive to foreign service providers who are willing to seize the opportunities that the Middle East region can offer,” commented Locatory.com Chief Commercial Officer Vytautas Vorobjovas.
The demand for aircraft parts and maintenance services in the Middle East is currently valued at USD 1.3 billion. Aviation experts predict that in the nearest future the sector will increase by another 5.1%. Locatory.com has observed that more and more airlines seeking to optimize costs are refusing to operate their own component management systems. Instead, they choose to outsource the sector to individual spare parts platforms and aircraft technical support providers.
“No wonder that companies are inclined to cooperate with secondary aircraft parts and maintenance service providers from other countries. This way they can significantly cut costs and increase productivity. By joining global aviation parts platforms that connect major spare parts providers around the world, carriers based in the Middle East may benefit from such practice even more,” said V.Vorobjovas.
According to Mr.Vorobjovas, as soon as the Middle East MRO sector manages to raise the quality of aircraft parts as well as engine maintenance and support level, it will certainly become an equal competitor for both the European and the American aircraft technical maintenance providers.