Monday, May 30, 2011

Challenges Facing MROs in MENA

Last week (24 -25 May 2011) I attended the Airline Engineering and Maintenance Middle East Conference at Abu Dhabi organized by UBM Aviation. This conference came at a time the region faces political turmoil and rising oil prices that may affect the global economic recovery. The turnout was exceptional with several major airlines in the region attending. 
As usual the conference offered thought provoking ideas. discussed below are a few that I found interesting;

Global MROs was something pursued by Mubadala Aerospace and Turkish Technic where the idea of leveraging and aligning several MROs and JVs with OEMs to provide a full service to the extent that Mr. Abdulla Shadid, Manager Business Development, Mubadala Aerospace said in the keynote address of the conference "The days of the independent non aligned MROs are over", declaring the demise of the Independent MRO.

AACO  expanded on the dangers facing the MROs of the region and summed them up as follows:
1. Regulations and educating the regulators in the needs of the industry and how the lack of harmonised 
     regulations is affecting the business.
2. Shortage of maintenance personnel not only in the region but worldwide.
The issue of  manpower development was addressed by the Gulf Aviation Academy and the shortage of  human capital was considered one of the main issues facing the region.

Operating engines in the harsh environment of MENA especially the Gulf region was discussed by Saudi Arabian Airlines and Etihad, both outlining their experience in that regards.

Managing inventories and all related activities were put in perspective from  different points of view. Emirates shared their efforts on managing the inventory to support a fleet of 152 aircraft over a network of 100+ stations. AJ Walter Aviation discussed how they can provide support for airlines in this regard.

The dilemma of outsourcing or developing inhouse capabilities was discussed by the low cost carriers of the region Jazeera Airways, Air India Express and Jordan Aviation. The pitfalls associated with outsourcing, power by the hour versus time and material and the importance of paying attention to aircraft and engine return conditions.

Thanks again to UBM Aviation for providing a venue for networking and sharing ideas affecting the MENA region.

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