6 Nov 2023
MRO services in Europe are experiencing a significant upswing, and maintenance providers are showing increased agility as they adapt to the circumstances. This adjustment reflects the dynamic nature of the aviation industry and the need for constant innovation and adaptability.
In the October issue of AviTrader MRO AJW Group Chief Commercial Officer, Scott Symington, speaks to Keith Mwanalushi about how the Group is enhancing its capacity and developing innovative approaches to address post-sales issues across the European continent.
Industry forecasting predicts the slowest growth for the European region over the next decade. This is due to various factors including, sustainability considerations and the impact of inflation. While there has been an increase in traffic demand, many operators are bringing their older aircraft out of retirement resulting in an increased demand for MRO services.
Some industry experts feel that the situation is driving customer behaviour more than affecting the cost base, which has led to a need for operational flexibility. Lingering challenges of skilled labour shortages and supply chain issues continue to impact maintenance service delivery. There has been a significant increase in the cost of raw materials which is affecting all sectors.
Despite the current inflation driven environment, AJW’s Symington feels the situation is not affecting MRO services as demand remains high due to increased airline capacity demand. Symington states, “AJW is committed to long-term contracts with our suppliers, OEMs, and third-party MRO vendors, which is mitigating our MRO cost increase as much as possible.”
The Group's Chief Commercial Officer indicates that AJW is seeing increased interest in its Power-by-the-Hour (PBH) support solutions from European-based airlines. He explains that this is due to operators’ desire to secure access to inventory. “These agreements allow operators to outsource responsibilities to AJW without having to manage additional headcount, negating supply chain disruptions and labour shortages affecting the region.”
Mwanalushi discusses AJW’s commitment to overcoming labour issues by partnering with training institutions by putting educational outreach at the forefront of its plans to employ technicians. The Group is acutely aware of the need to appeal to the Gen-Z mindset by focusing on digital technologies such as AR and AI (Augmented Reality and Artificial Intelligence) digitisation in its training methods. Symington says,
”Digitisation offers a strong employer proposition and an innovative mindset culture with digital enablement at the core of the business.”
Symington discusses the Group’s expansion of its warehousing facilities in the Eurozone to support its EU customers more efficiently, mitigating the effects of Brexit. AJW’s European sales team has also expanded and it now has established offices in Turkey to support the region and the Middle East.
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