Seven members of the Arab Air Carriers Organization (AACO) have signed a memorandum of understanding to cooperate in vendor audits, line maintenance, maintenance training and joint purchasing of consumable parts, says Rashad Karaky, the association’s manager of economics and technology management.

A governing board for these initiatives will hold its first meeting next month in Cairo. AACO expects the members—Air Algerie, EgyptAir, Emirates Airline, Kuwait Airways, Middle East Airlines, Qatar Airways and Saudi Airlines—to save about $150 million over the next four years from the collaboration, says Karaky.

Karaky told attendees at this week’s Aviation Week’s MRO Middle East Conference that consultancy ICF SH&E, which was hired by the seven airlines, identified nine areas of potential maintenance cooperation during its study, which was conducted from November 2011 to September 2012.

ICF SH&E VP David Stewart says AACO selected the four items because they are “quick wins” and easy to execute, such as looking at where the AACO carrier’s line maintenance stations overlap so they can reduce redundant labor and spare parts costs.

Other areas identified in the study include shipping costs for General Electric GE90 engines, which the seven participating carriers all operate, inventory loans and exchanges and other levels of joint purchasing.