| The 20th edition of the 2017 MRO Europe exhibition which was held in London once again demonstrated how the aircraft maintenance sector is transforming itself. Of course, when it comes to the arrival of new generation aircraft and their engines, all actors are not treated equally, especially independent MROs, i.e. companies which are not part of an airline, an aircraft manufacturer or an equipment provider (OEM).
This means that with aircraft manufacturers' strategy to considerably increase their market share over the coming years, it is clear that independent MROs will have to adopt new strategies to avoid suffering too much, or even going out of business for the smallest of them.
Some will be forced to adopt a mergers and acquisitions (M&A) strategy to increase their size and range of services, while continuing to fight hard on price to remain competitive. For example, this is what has just happened in France with the buyout of EAS by Enhance Aero.
Other, larger, companies will seek out new partnerships with OEM, like the Airbus MRO Alliance (AMA) network, which was unveiled at Le Bourget and which brings together companies such as Sabena Technics, AAR and Aeroman, and which goes far beyond older integrated programmes such as FHS (Airbus) or GoldCare (Boeing).
Independent MRO companies will also seek to specialise more, by positioning themselves on cabins, conversions or end of lease periods, for example, which are much more lucrative and still have a bright future ahead of them.
But some of them will try to be even more original by adopting a real asset management strategy like the Estonian company Magnetic MRO, which can also operate at each level of a plane's life cycle, for example in the event of a change of owner accompanied by an associated leasing contract.
Finally, if lessors have still not really turned their attention towards the MRO sector, the opposite could become a reality over the next few years.