Meggitt Readies For Asia-Pacific Rebound
SINGAPORE—The services and support division of UK-based aerospace supplier Meggitt says it is readying its operation for increased market activity in China’s sluggish aftermarket and the wider Asia-Pacific region.
Darren Wiggins, senior vice president and general manager APAC for Meggitt's services and support division in Singapore, believes while China has been constrained this year, the regional market outside of China is recovering well in 2022. He points to Asia-Pacific’s rise in passenger traffic over the summer months, which included a strong July.
Continued lockdowns in China, where Meggitt has partnered with Lufthansa Technik Shenzhen for the MRO to undertake repairs on certain components, are an ongoing challenge, says Wiggins. “Although this doesn’t mean our Chinese customers aren’t buying parts and services,” he adds.
Wiggins points out that the big four Chinese airlines—China Southern, China Eastern, Air China and Hainan—are still putting parts stock on their shelves. “We are still seeing activity in China, which traditionally has accounted for about half of our market in the Asia-Pacific region," he says.
Looking forward, Wiggins ponders how the Chinese market and particularly the small- to medium-sized carriers operating in the country might come to the market in future. “Does that mean they're going to have to partner pool their assets? Will they have to use intermediaries or even look at their leasing models?" he says. "I believe that’s going to be the interesting dynamic for us as the China market further comes back.”
In line with other predictions, Wiggins predicts it will be 2024 when the Asia-Pacific region’s aftermarket returns to the pre-COVID-19 levels of 2019.
He foresees a sustained focus on new-generation platforms in the narrowbody segment, such as the LEAP-powered Boeing 737 MAX and Pratt & Whitney GTF-powered Airbus A320neo aircraft, with Meggitt providing more than 100 subcomponents on these platforms.
“We're happy with that level of content on these platforms, but this does bring an obligation to service that content,” he says. To better ready itself for the new platforms, Meggitt invested around $2 million in expanding the capacity of its Singapore facility and to buy new equipment earlier this year.
Doubling in size to 42,000 ft.2, the facility incorporated fire detectors, cable assemblies, actuators, sensors, valves and heat exchangers in a move which added more than 100 new part numbers.