Maintenance is ~10% of airline operating costs, and airlines are in cost-conservation mode.
Airlines have several options to reduce MRO spend. Whether to perform the MRO or not may depend upon MRO type and MRO alternatives (e.g., leasing in an engine or part, burning greentime, USM, etc.).
They may have options regarding material to use, which may avoid new parts (critical to OEM profits).
Options depend upon airline and, if relevant, lessor policies. Also, there may not be any alternatives to the OEM part. The point is, however, that they may well have options.
It’s also vital to consider if the MRO is a relatively high cost (e.g., engine shop visit)? The higher the cost, the more likely for deferral or alternatives. Is the maintenance discretionary (e.g., cabin upgrade) that could be deferred? Is the aircraft owned or leased? What requirements does that place upon the operator (and is an end-of-lease check due)?
It’s worth considering the type of MRO contract that the airline has with its supplier. If they have paid by the hour, the operator may send the engine or component for overhaul/repair.
Finally, does the airline have the in-house capability, or is the MRO outsourced? That may also impact whether they perform the maintenance or delay it.
Date: November 24 , 2020
737NG, 737 MAX, A320ceo & A320neo Family Fleet Status
The great news that the 737 MAX, grounded since March 2019, has received FAA authorization to re-enter US airline service (with other regulators to follow in due-course) provides the opportunity to look at the current...
Date: November 16 , 2020
Air Transport Aircraft Fleet Status (Mid-November 2020)
Let's take a look at the air transport fleet's current active and stored/parked status. As we reach mid-November, ~61% of the fleet is in service, and 39% parked. The regional situation continues to diverge. COVID fat...
Date: November 02 , 2020
Aircraft Retirements up to October 2020
As of the end of October 2020, approximately 540 air transport aircraft had been officially retired and withdrawn from use. That’s ~2.6% of the active fleet. These include ~100 A320ceos, 63 747-400s, 54 MD80s, 40 MD90...