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: March 29 , 2022
Air Transport Aircraft Retirements Update
The air transport aircraft retirement tsunami that was expected has, so far, failed to materialize. 2021 saw the lowest official retirements since 2007, with only ~429 aircraft being recognized as being officially ret...
Date: November 23 , 2021
Tracking the Air Transport Utilization Recovery
April 2020 marked the low point in air transport fleet utilization. Since then, aircraft flying hours have been steadily increasing. However, the speed of the recovery has varied by size of aircraft (e.g., narrowbod...
Date: March 12 , 2021
Reviewing 2020 Aircraft Retirements
So, how many air transport aircraft retired in 2020? Thousands? Nope. 2020 did not yield the thousands of retirements that had been feared. Though the final tally will be subject to revision in the coming months, so f...