Regional carriers are renegotiating existing maintenance contracts as a result of COVID-19. Among these are Lion Air, which for certain components, has renegotiated some power-by-the-hour contracts due to its fleet utilization being less than the PBH requirements.
Maintenance Work Is Being Postponed
Credit: Rob Finlayson
Due to fleet groundings and as a means of preserving liquidity, airlines have also explored ways to reduce costs in their maintenance. Jetstar is among these, with the carrier using Airbus’ Skywise to ingest its maintenance task cards, has managed to push 10-12 heavy checks into 2021 and thus save $6 million in the process.
Scheduled MRO Work Is Not Being Brought Forward
One route not taken by carriers is the bringing forward of maintenance work when their aircraft are grounded.
Digitalization Is Here To Stay
Among the few upsides from COVID-19 could be the industry quickening its move towards digital platforms. Stefan Karisch, director of analytics at Boeing, says the OEM is seeing more customers using its data analytics services for active and inactive fleets. Pratt & Whitney has also seen this, and Arun Srinivasan, an associate director for Pratt & Whitney Commercial Engines, says the engine manufacturer has used the pandemic to drive efficiencies in its engine shops and across its global supply chain.
Despite COVID-19 Slowdown, Asia-Pacific Is Still Ramping Up Capacity
The pandemic has slowed growth in one of the world's growth regions, but despite this, some MROs are pressing ahead with their plans to expand capacity across facilities. Among these are China-based GAMECO, which is scheduled to open a new hangar at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport that will be able to simultaneously house 15 narrowbodies or six widebodies and five narrowbodies.
Post-COVID Will Likely See Aircraft Interior Innovation
With airlines looking to build up their flight schedules between now and the end of the year, restoring the passenger confidence dented by COVID-19 will be a key target. This goal could lead to the evolution of aircraft interiors, an MRO Asia-Pacific panel heard. It is predicted that this could drive innovations such as inflight connectivity, anti-bacterial products and interior modifications.
Some of the key takeaways from this year's Aviation Week Network's MRO Asia-Pacific virtual event.