Airbus has disclosed the six initial members of a new maintenance alliance which will capitalise on new digital capabilities being developed by the airframer.

The alliance brings together China Airlines and Etihad Airways' engineering arm, as well as AAR, Aeroman, GAMECO, and Sabena Technics.

Airbus head of services Laurent Martinez says that – through the airframer's new digital strategy, Skywise – flight-hour services "will change dimension".

"They will move from reactive mode to pro-active mode," he said, during a briefing at the Paris air show.

EasyJet has been among the carriers to obtain early benefits from the predictive maintenance aspect of the strategy.

Airbus says the alliance will be a "key part" of its effort to develop efficient and high-quality global services, with its members comprising companies with "high standards and proven expertise".

It will aim to optimise heavy maintenance turnaround times by combining the engineering specialisation of the MRO members with Airbus's Skywise digital abilities.

Airbus unveiled its Skywise data-gathering, data-analysis and connectivity strategy at the show on 20 June.

The airframer says it will support the alliance members in order to enhance their performance, and provide them with access to a "wide portfolio" of services.

Airbus unveiled the alliance as it forecast that the global aftermarket will be worth $3.2 trillion over the next 20 years, with MRO on aircraft above 100 seats representing $1.85 trillion. The MRO spend will rise from $60 billion to around $120 billion annually, it predicts.

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Source: Cirium Dashboard