With the marriage between British Airways and Iberia, BA Engineering has re-emerged on the third-party MRO stage. However, the two partners have yet to decide how they can bring their maintenance businesses together in the long term.
"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," said Steve Madden, sales and marketing manager, at the Dubai MRO exhibition. "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 coordinate 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]," said José Luis Quirós Cuevas, sales, marketing and business development vice president at Iberia Maintenance.
Both companies are 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, so far, BA Engineering has concentrated on supporting its parent fleet, Madden reports that the company is looking at the Boeing 737NG series as a possible candidate to extend component repair capabilities beyond its immediate needs.
Quirós Cuevas is confident the firm has enough component capabilities for third-party customers, but "a probably difficult question is what to do with the engines. We will need more time to decide."
Madden does not rule out new facilities in the long term. However, Quirós Cuevas warns that "overcapacity can kill a business". He thinks joint ventures and partnerships would allow entering into new regions and business areas without large cost while keeping capacity under control.