MRO companies: Technicians & mechanics shortage coming soon?
Aviation industry experts believe that the market of spare parts and MRO services will soon experience the golden age.
Currently being heavily impacted by COVID-19, the MRO companies do not lose the positive point of view in the current economic situation.
“We still remain positive and think that we will come out of the crisis hopefully soon. The main question is for how long the airlines and MRO companies can exist and can keep working under current economic circumstances“, Geert Van Damme, the Vice President of Sales and Marketing of Turbineaero revealed during Air Convention Digital Week 2.0 on September 16, 2020.
Pastor Lopez, the President of MRO Group of GA Telesis, said one of the key reasons why the spare parts market looks to be set to skyrocket is that airlines are cash-strapped due to travel restrictions worldwide.Air carriers prefer to save their cash and will seek to ensure that their existing airframes are fit to keep on flying, instead of buying a new aircraft, according to Lopez. .
“We have a lot of aircraft that already are removed or will be removed from the service in near future. And these aircraft will be used to feed up that spare parts business“, explained Pascal Parant, the Vice President of AAR Corporation.
To get back into the sky after pandemic ends, many airlines will need to pull their aircraft from deep storage in remote facilities. Experts predict that the revival procedures will increase the demand of technicians and mechanics.
“All the aircraft that have now been grounded, will need to go back in the sky and will need maintenance,” said Parant. “Just to remind you, to train mechanics it takes three years and three years of studies, plus two years to make them up to norm. This is why it is very important to keep all the experienced technicians.”
When the pandemic subsides, increased demand for MRO services could lead the companies to the shortages of staff, according to Van Damme,
“When the situation with COVID-19 disappears and everything will come back to normal life, we will face our second problem of workforce shortage. We need to create good conditions to keep those skilled technicians. We have to make sure that they will stay with us for the next period“, said Van Damme.
For instance, GA Telesis hired new experienced staff during the crisis in order to avoid a shortage of experienced technicians when the company needs them, explained Lopez.
“The strategy GA Telesis took is that we hired new people. We hired mechanics, we gathered all the skilled and talented people we needed who were fired by other companies“, Lopez said.
“There will be enough technicians available for the next two years - this is my personal view in two years' time frame. Then, we will face the lack of experienced staff. We support the strategy of qualifying more and more people. The labour is the key with one we will get out of this crisis“, he added.
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