Nayak Sees Recovering European Market, Looks For Acquisitions
Intra-European flights dipped more than 92% from January to mid-May, but had recovered to about 84% of pre-crisis levels by June 8, according to RadarBox. And European carriers’ announced schedules see even stronger growth as the summer proceeds.
The virus crisis hit line stations first and hardest, and line MROs will be the first to see the return toward, if not to, normal. That appears to be the case with Nayak Aircraft Services, which has line stations spread across Europe.
“Slowly but steadily the airlines are restarting,” says Jörg Sauerland, Nayak’s managing director. Some European carriers had continued with a very low flight schedules, while others that stopped are restarting in the middle of June or the beginning of July with reduced flight schedules that will increase over the summer towards October. Sauerland emphasizes that all these airlines are looking for MRO companies that can react quickly with high-quality services as nobody knows yet how passengers will react to increased schedules.
During the crisis, Nayak has provided parking services to customers, with about 70 aircraft parked at its stations. “So far, the number has been growing in the past weeks, but our expectation is that it will be reduced now that airlines are restarting,” Sauerland says.
The Nayak exec notes that many lessors are faced with increasing numbers of lease returns. Nayak is supporting these returns with its hangar, base facility and engine and structure repair shops in Dusseldorf. “Lease returns for aircraft and engines, end-of-life solutions or transition checks are currently in demand.”
Fortunately, Nayak’s supply chain has been holding up well during the crisis. And the MRO has focused on keeping all staff on-board. “With all the staff remaining, we are able to start up again as soon as required for many airlines at 40 stations in Europe,” Sauerland says.
Nayak has applied for government support in the countries where it is available. “Most European governments have options to support the costs of the staff, good options and much appreciated.”
Now that the crisis appears to be easing, Nayak is again considering opening new locations in its network. And it is looking at doing so with acquisitions. Sauerland says the virus crisis shows the importance of an MRO having a solid base and strong partnerships with airline customers, partnerships that go beyond just the terms of contracts. Not all MROs were in that position, and these could be acquisition candidates. “Every crisis presents opportunities, and we are happy to embrace them.”