Measurement & Instrumentation

Global Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) Facility Landscape, 2018

The Future of Commercial Air Carriers will Rely on Global MROs’ Capacity, Capability, and Sustainability
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Published: 17 Sep 2018

This growth insight discusses the landscape of commercial aircraft maintenance, repair, and overhaul facilities (MROs) that provide check maintenance and modifications for airlines and air freight carriers. Prior to stand-alone aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facilities, major airlines and air freight carriers were forced to acquire resources such as facilities, tooling, and employees to comply with maintenance and modification requirements for their fleets. As their fleets expanded, resource expenditures went up. Some low cost airlines entered the market heavily relying on vendors to provide maintenance, reducing the requirement of maintenance resources such as facilities, labor, and tooling. In efforts to reduce costs and remain competitive, major airlines followed suite by turning to third-party maintenance providers. Several airlines around the globe have completely eliminated their maintenance departments by transferring them to separate businesses and some have even increased outputs and services to provide aircraft maintenance for multiple carriers. As demand increases for aircraft maintenance, MROs attempt to adjust capacity to meet the demand. Results of MRO expansions have led to mergers, consolidations, buy-outs, alliances, as well as some companies going out of business. Aircraft maintenance, once considered just a cost of doing business to airlines, has emerged into a competitive business. An overview is provided of top companies in the MRO market, many operating several sites around the globe. Profiles include: short company descriptions and highlights; history of organization; affiliations and partnerships; capacity measurements such as hanger areas, hanger quantities, hanger configurations, and area metrics. The aircraft MRO business is continuing to go through many changes such as more air carriers shifting to outsourcing, airlines finding leverage in crossing borders, and some MROs winning contracts with original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to act as the provider for factory covered services. Most continents and regions around the globe are inhabited by MROs with a higher saturation in Asia, Europe, and the Americas. Cost is the driving factor for airlines’ decision to use specific MROs. Efficiencies in service must be evident and realized, however, if schedule is not maintained or quality issues start to arise, airlines and air carriers have been known to end relationships prematurely.


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