Having flown more than 35,000 mi. in the past month between North America, South America, the Middle East and Asia-Pacific—on aircraft including an within Brazil to a -300ER from Dubai to Singapore—how could airline operations not have occupied my mind?
As the world becomes more connected, and as airlines in regions such as Southeast Asia expand into sizes where aftermarket volumes support developing local services, partnerships flourish. I witnessed it on each continent.
For instance, Singapore-based developer Gallant Venture and Indonesian flag-carrier PT a memorandum of understanding to turn Bintan Airport in Indonesia into a major aviation hub—a hub that will include an MRO that will support local carrier Lion Air.signed
Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore, which has succeeded in encouraging MROs there to expand into more sophisticated engineering—and even to branch out into manufacturing—is home to several prominent aftermarket players that are either beginning to set up or to extend their facilities. Satair and just opened their first joint service center, which triples the scope of parts handled and finishes the merger of Airbus's former material and logistics group into Satair.
In the Middle East and North Africa, the Arab Air Carriers Organization members are working together to explore efficiencies from line maintenance to joint purchasing of consumables. Both of those meetings take place this month.
And during Aviation Week's first MRO Latin America Conference in Rio de Janeiro in January, several conversations during the sessions and coffee breaks focused on spare parts—from the need for parts pooling within the region to the use of surplus parts and parts manufacturer approvals (PMA). Ahmad Zamany, vice president of technical operations for Copa Airlines, vociferously advocated for the use of PMAs to cut material costs—as long as airlines have strong engineering departments and robust processes. Another carrier asked Zamany for process suggestions, which led to a healthy exchange of ideas and collaborative approaches between the audience members and panel speakers.
It is these face-to-face exchanges that foster new ideas. I guarantee your time will be well spent attending our MRO Americas Conference & Exhibition (www.aviationweek.com/events/mro) in Phoenix April 8-10. As aftermarket work within each region grows and the pace of technology continually quickens, it is more important than ever to stay abreast of the latest developments.
Partnerships and joint ventures are proliferating around the world. We ignore this at our peril, so keep up.
—Lee Ann Tegtmeier
Chief Editor MRO
Keep up with Tegtmeier on MRO's blog: AviationWeek.com/mro and on Twitter: @AvWeekMRO