Spirit AeroSystems Sees More Asia-Pacific MRO Partnership Potential

Spirit Aerosystems
Credit: Spirit Aerosystems

Spirit AeroSystems continues to eye partnerships as a key part of its strategy to grow and diversify its aftermarket business in the next few years.   

The company in early 2022 unveiled a strategy to grow its aftermarket business to 20% of total revenues, or about $500 million, by the middle of the decade. Partnerships—such as its joint venture with Taiwan-based heavy airframe and engine maintenance specialist Evergreen Aviation Technologies Corp. (EGAT) to repair engine nacelle components and other parts—give Spirit presence in major geographic locations outside its U.S. base. They also can bring new capabilities, such as work on products Spirit does not manufacture.  

“We’re looking at other partnering-type agreements in China, in the Middle East and in South America, where we can partner with other [maintenance providers],” Spirit CFO Mark Suchinski said at a recent Morgan Stanley investor conference. Teaming up with heavy maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) providers is particularly beneficial, he added. “The airlines could come in, get their heavy repair work done and the type of work that we can do, we can do it with the big MRO provider,” Suchinski said. “It’s a bit of a one-stop shop.” 

As long-haul traffic continues to recover, operators will need MRO work to support rising fleet activity. The environment is ripe for Spirit to expand its network, Suchinksi said. 

“The Middle East is great as it relates to twin-aisle airplane programs. Those are going to start to come back into service over the next couple of years,” he said. “China is a big market and there are some good opportunities in South America to partner” with companies. 

“We’ll never be the heavy MRO provider,” Suchinski said. “I think our big focus is on parts replacement, which has always been part of our aftermarket business and we’ve continued to expand our [repair] capabilities ... I think we’ve got a good game plan there.” 


Sean Broderick

Senior Air Transport & Safety Editor Sean Broderick covers aviation safety, MRO, and the airline business from Aviation Week Network's Washington, D.C. office.