COVID-19 Pushes Third-Party MRO Clients To GMF

While MRO in China has gradually recovered, the past few months have made it difficult for non-Chinese airlines to gain access to the country. This has led to a surge in demand for maintenance providers in neighboring countries such as GMF AeroAsia of Indonesia.
Credit: GMF AeroAsia

As the coronavirus spreads and airlines ground more aircraft, many will use the opportunity to conduct maintenance and refurbishment work.

The extent to which this provides a boost to MRO revenues, at least in the short term, is difficult to quantify, and will depend on the type of work being conducted and the capacity available--for regions still in their winter seasons, for example, most hangar space will have been booked up in advance of the traditional maintenance season.

In other places, however, there is some evidence of a coronavirus boost for MRO. Indonesia company GMF AeroAsia, for instance, has reported an uptick in demand from third-party-customers (the MRO provider is an offshoot of Garuda Indonesia), because some airlines have been unable to land in China for scheduled maintenance.

GMF has reported three new customers since the start of the year, according to The Jakarta Post.

GMF’s main base is a huge site at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport near Jakarta, which comprises a 721,000 sq.ft narrowbody maintenance hangar, the largest in the world, as well as a 236,000 sq.ft widebody maintenance hangar, a 247,000 sq.ft light maintenance hangar, and another 247,000 sq.ft hangar with A330 maintenance facilities.

The company is also building a facility on the island of Batam, just a short hop from Singapore, where the region’s current dominant MRO player, ST Aerospace, is based.

Alex Derber

Alex Derber, a UK-based aviation journalist, is editor of the Engine Yearbook and a contributor to Aviation Week and Inside MRO.