Aircraft makers should stick to what they do best and leave the maintenance, repair and overhaul of their products to the MRO industry, says August Wilhelm Henningsen, chairman of Lufthansa Technik (LHT).

“They should concentrate on building the airplanes,” says Henningsen, whose company, like other MRO providers, has been faced with increasing competition from Airbus and Boeing over the past several years. The MRO industry is large enough to serve the market and, if anything, the industry is “more over-served than under-served today,” he says.

The OEMs control the intellectual property and know the strengths of their products, but Henningsen says LHT, because of experience gained working for Lufthansa and its many third-party customers, has more insight into strengths and weaknesses. Managing those weaknesses is a key elements of successfully supporting an aircraft, he says.

“At the end of the day, they [aircraft makers] are asking us how the airplanes are performing,” Henningsen says.