DUBAI — An aviation industry expert said on Feb 8 that the global focus of the aviation industry will shift significantly to the East in the next decade which will have major implications for the airline maintenance, repair and operations (MRO).
Speaking on the first day of the 9th edition of the annual MRO Middle East, David Stewart, managing partner at US consultancy Oliver Wyman, said that as the North American and Western European markets continue to undergo significant cost reduction efforts and tightly control capacity, there will be a continuing shift to the East in aircraft maintenance.
Stewart said there are 7,491 civil aircrafts in service in the United States and 2,460 in China, “however, the projection is that by 2026, the Chinese aircrafts in service will double to 5,771 units, while those in the US are expected to rise slight to 8,067.”
Therefore, Asia, China in particular, will drive future demand for MRO services, he said.
The growing demand and competition in Asia has motivated the United Arab Emirates (UAE) national carrier Etihad Airways to enter into an MRO and catering agreement with Germany’s biggest carrier Lufthansa on Feb 1. The catering deal alone is worth $100 million.