Newly-merged British Airways and Iberia have yet to decide how they can bring their maintenance businesses together in the long-term, but BA Engineering is hoping the merger will enable it to grow.
"We want to show the MRO industry that BA Engineering is back in the market after being out of it for 10 or 15 years," BA Engineering sales and marketing manager Steve Madden told the MRO Middle East conference in Dubai.
"We now have an ambition to grow alongside Iberia through our merger and really utilise our facilities and capabilities."
Iberia Maintenance and BA Engineering will continue to exist as two separate entities for the time being, but will co-ordinate their activities to attract and accomplish custom together.
Consolidation of the two companies is on the horizon in the mid-term. "Probably within three to five years we will see what will happen with the MRO business [of the merged airlines]," says Iberia Maintenance sales, marketing and business development vice-president José Luis Quirós Cuevas. Both companies are currently reviewing each other's capabilities to determine how work can be shared and which areas could be expanded to grow business in the long-term.
While BA Engineering has traditionally concentrated on supporting its parent fleet, Madden says the company is "certainly" looking at the Boeing 737NG series as a possible candidate to extend component repair capabilities beyond its immediate needs.
Quirós Cuevas is confident they have enough component capabilities for third-party customers, however, "a probably difficult question is what to do with the engines. We will need more time to decide".
New facilities are not ruled out by Madden in the long-term. However, Quirós Cuevas warns that "overcapacity can kill a business". He thinks joint ventures and partnerships would enable the two companies to enter new regions and business areas without large costs, while keeping capacity under control.