VZM: European MRO challenges and opportunities
Last month VZM contributed to the Aviation Maintenance article “European MRO: Challenges Mount But Opportunities Remain.” Following some excerpts from the article.
In its March 2017 market outlook report, Netherlands-based VZM Management Services underlines business risks, ranging from unpredictable behavior by the world’s major players to economic uncertainties created by Brexit and protectionist rhetoric. However, MRO globalization helps to mitigate those risks as well as to control costs and service far-flung customers.
Even Brexit has a silver lining. UK MROs have profited from the decreasing value of the pound after the referendum, explained Marcel Versteeg, VZM managing director. The effect of the UK’s exit from the European Union is expected to be bigger on airlines. Parts logistics, as well as the operations of English contractors in support of EU-based MROs, could become more complex, however.
Finding skilled workers is another issue. VZM often hears that western European maintenance organizations have trouble finding and keeping skilled technicians and specialists. …… Leaders also cite the decreasing popularity of technical skill training, demographics (ageing population), non-competitive salary levels, and the need for new skills to handle challenges such as big data, added Versteeg. What’s more, new engineers expect to be promoted to management positions within a few years rather than – as employers would prefer – stay in the engineering ranks long enough to be able to help develop repairs and process improvements.
VZM anticipates opportunities as MRO work is “reshored” to Europe and North America. This is expected to occur as Asia-Pacific fleet growth displaces some offshored European and U.S. wide-body base maintenance. But reshoring has not had much of an impact in Europe yet. When it happens, it’s “up to the MROs to take advantage of it by offering short, reliable turn times with flexibility and good aircraft reliability after the check, Versteeg advised. Quality of service will become a more important differentiator in this environment, as labor rate differentials decrease.”
The whole article can be read in the June/July 2017 edition of Aviation Maintenance at avm-mag.com.