Jet Aviation's third hangar at Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore began operation in early December 2017. The 3850-m² hangar is sized to accommodate up to two Boeing Business Jets, Airbus ACJs, or five Gulfstream G550 aircraft.

China engine MRO market seeing major boom

While engine manufacturers fill orders from large operators for numerous new commercial engine types, maintenance costs of older, in-service engines will also continue to rise. Analysts currently estimate that engine maintenance and repair will contribute to nearly 30% of the predicted $25 billion 2018 maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) market—with most of the growth occurring in the Asia-Pacific region.

With multiple booming industries and the rapidly growing middle class, development of the aviation industry in China is a national priority, so the Chinese government is allocating considerable resources toward further extending domestic aviation production capabilities, building new airports, training pilots, and increasing local aviation MRO capacity. At the moment, China is the second largest domestic aviation market in the world with the fastest growing passenger traffic rate of 6.6% per year.

Rotables over new OEM

With an average fleet age of eight years, most Chinese business aircraft operators are still covered by aircraft warranty. And China’s new Comac C919 just had its maiden flight only last year. If, however, operators find themselves in need of acquiring new parts, these tend to come from relatively young fleets. As these fleets are inevitably aging, in the near future the rotable aircraft parts market in China is expected to grow.

Aviation companies often opt for rotable aircraft parts versus new components for several reasons. First, rotables can be safely used a number of times, even after being subjected to major repairs. Second, new aircraft parts are expensive and very few aircraft operators have the budget to afford all-new replacement components.

According to industry experts, aircraft rotables cost up to five to ten times less than new parts. Moreover, in many cases companies opt for extra time savings; when it comes to rotables, a typical lead time is significantly shorter than the one required to locate, order, and deliver their new counterparts. Therefore, in most scenarios, by ordering second-hand, aircraft operators can benefit from a less expensive, yet still warranty-covered and saf,e alternative.

“Naturally, all fleets are aging, and the spare parts support warranties are expiring. Luckily, reputable providers offer parts that are serviced at approved repair facilities only, thus critical reliability is always ensured with Certificates of Conformance, regardless of region. For instance, all rotables that our company offers in China also come with the Civil Aviation Administration of China (CAAC) release certificates included, so our customers can rest being assured that the savings they make come with no compromises on safety,” said Darius Saluga, CEO of global business and regional aviation MRO provider, Jet Maintenance Solutions.

Increasing MRO capabilities and facilities

MRO providers are strategically positioning themselves to offer fast turnaround times to Asia-Pacific operators flying older aircraft and have been purposefully pursuing certifications to support the region.

Ontic, known for its “Extended Life Solutions” for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) legacy products, just announced in January 2018 that its Singapore facility received certification by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). This certification is in addition to its European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), Civil Aviation Authority of Singapore (CAAS), CAAC, Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) Thailand, and DCA Malaysia certifications.

Ontic’s Singapore facility serves as both repair station and storefront for a variety of OEM-licensed and acquired products for the Boeing B737 Classic and B777, Fokker 50, 70 and 100, and Airbus A300, A318, A319 and A320.

Additionally, Jet Aviation announced that its third hangar at Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore began operation in early December 2017. The official opening ceremony will be held for the 3850-m² hangar—sized to accommodate up to two Boeing Business Jets, Airbus ACJs, or five Gulfstream G550 aircraft—during the Singapore Airshow in February 2018.

“We built this new hangar to help meet strong demand for local business aviation services, especially for more mature long-range aircraft,” said John Riggir, Vice President and General Manager of Jet Aviation’s MRO facility in Singapore.

It’s clear that while newer engines—like the CFM Leap variants and the Pratt & Whitney PW1000 (and it’s variants)— attract young, burgeoning airline operators, the use of maturing aircraft powerplants in the Asia-Pacific region will not decline; MRO demand in that region will continue to rise.

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