MROAM: Forecast shows line maintenance to lead outsourcing growth

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Line maintenance will drive outsourcing growth trends for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services, a new forecast predicts.

The ICF SH&E consultancy released a forecast on 4 April at the MRO Americas conference showing that airlines will increase the outsourcing of line maintenance to 40% over the next 10 years, or 11 percentage points higher than today.

"Line maintenance will be the fastest growing segment" of outsourced MRO services, says Jonathan Berger, vice president of ICF SH&E.

Unlike outsourcing for aircraft engines, components and heavy airframe checks, airlines have been reluctant to quickly outsource line maintenance services.

Although only 29% of line maintenance work is performed by external vendors, airlines have outsourced 80% of maintenance for aircraft engines and components. About 60% of heavy airframe checks are also outsourced.

But airline managements are increasingly pressuring their maintenance divisions to transfer risk to suppliers, Berger says.