The recent announcement that Rolls-Royce and Emirates had agreed a $9.2bn (£6.1bn) for the delivery of over two hundred Trent 900 engines, to provide for around fifty A380’s, was one of the largest in UK industrial history.
Whilst the attention has rightly been on the manufacture and assembly of the engines themselves (and the supply chain opportunities created here in the UK) the inclusion of Rolls-Royce ‘Total Care’ package for operational support maintenance, cites a significant value placed on the lifetime support for the engine. Indeed, Sir Tim Clark, President of Emirates, noted that the economic and operational performance of the Trent 900 as a “key decider’ in the choice of engine. Airlines are seeking more and more to invest not only in fuel efficient engines, but engines which offer them the maximum value and maximum operational performance over their lifespan.
In this context, outline below are 5 key facts about the Aerospace Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) market, and the engine MRO market in particular, which show the level of opportunity and the impact this sector has on aircraft operations =
1. Maintenance is around 15-20% of total operating expenses – which is the 3rd largest operating expense, behind Fuel (38%) and Labour costs (23%).
2. Of this 17%, 40-45% of all maintenance cost is related to Engines – with most engine deals now being delivered with long term OEM support programmes.
3. The total lifespan of an engine is around 20-25 years – with an engine having to be taken out of service for a full overhaul approximately every 5 years.
4. The global market for MRO is $57.7bn in 2014; rising to $86.8bn by 2024 – representing a 4.2% compound annual growth rate. The engine MRO market is worth $22bn.
5. There are around 4,700 MRO companies registered around the world – 78% of which are SMEs, showing the breadth of the aftermarket and maintenance industry.
For a quick overview of the kind of regular maintenance activity carried out on any aircraft, the video below shows the capabilities of British Airways engineering: