Heico Aerospace believes its new strategic relationship with Japan Airlines sends a message that there needs to be a balance of power between the original equipment manufacturer (OEM) and alternative sources of replacement parts, writes Graham Warwick.

JAL is the first Asian carrier to sign a long-term exclusive supply agreement with Heico, under which the airline will "significantly increase" its use of non-OEM replacement aircraft and engine parts developed by the company under the US Federal Aviation Administration's parts manufacturer approval (PMA) process.

The agreement will save the airline millions of dollars, "and also send a message to sole-source suppliers that JAL is unwilling to tolerate current or historical pricing trends," says Heico Aerospace chief executive Eric Mendelson. "PMA provides a balance, and some Asian carriers need to realise the benefits."

JAL has committed to buy most of Heico's portfolio of 3,200 PMA parts, and to work with the company to develop additional FAA-approved parts. Heico has similar deals with Air Canada, American Airlines, Delta Air Lines, Lufthansa and United Airlines.

Source: Flight International