As COVID-19 swept through the aviation industry in 2020 and onwards into 2021, searching for cheaper but reliable aircraft parts became the ‘new normal’ for both airlines and dedicated MRO providers seeking effective aviation solutions. In 2019 used serviceable materials (USM) constituted only US$4.7 billion of the overall market, in 2022 that figure is expected to reach upwards of US$7.9, representing about 13% of the US$60 billion aircraft parts market.

With more than 2,500 aircraft retired in 2020 alone and the aircraft parts market expected to sustain growth until at least 2028, OEM (original equipment manufacturer) production and USM will play a key role in the ‘new normal’ for the industry. While the products sold are the same, parts and USM will benefit different groups of MROs and airlines.

To stay competitive MROs will have the option to choose from multiple suppliers in order to establish a steady and reliable USM supply chain, avoiding OEM products, and thus saving on costs and offering a more competitive price for the customer.

For OEMs, the current period may not be the most lucrative of times, but what comes next will make rather than break the new parts manufacturer’s business. As countries have already witnessed positive results from vaccination campaign roll-outs, the renewed rise in air travel is inevitable. As a result, thousands of airframes will be subject to maintenance programs and will ultimately create demand for replacement parts, which USM possibly will not be able to support, thus, requiring OEMs – manufacturing aircraft parts – to supply MROs with their production.

While the news may sound welcoming for MROs and airlines, along with their respective maintenance arms, without efficient aircraft parts identification, listing, and marketplace solutions, the blessing may well be short-lived. One solution to maximize the efficiency of aircraft parts procurement is the use of the digital marketplace. Aircraft parts marketplaces, like Locatory.com, are already known to employ cutting edge solutions like Artificial Intelligence to optimize the listing and order processes. Subsequently, the infrastructure to support MROs and airlines is already in place, the only remaining question is how to find reliable partners when creating future supply chains?

Jevgenijus Petronis, the Head of Product of Locatory.com, the leading online aircraft parts marketplace, explains: “Digital marketplaces allow customers to save significant amounts of time and money while simultaneously gaining valuable economic and logistical data that can be used to maximize efficiency. They directly connect buyers and sellers and by adopting new technology like blockchain, the already established part procurement industry is being reinvented in a decentralized manner, taking out the middlemen and connecting buyers and sellers directly to each other, thus maximizing operational efficiency.”