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Overview: leading companies in aviation MRO market

Aviation and aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is a critical market. Its purpose is to ensures the safety and airworthiness of aircraft or aircraft components in line with stringent regulations.

What is an aviation MRO?

In aviation, MRO refers to a set of procedural activities, including administration, supervision and managerial practices aimed at restoring aircraft to its safe and original state, performance and function. 

MRO companies, which retain spacious facilities to accommodate aircraft, provide essential services, including scheduled maintenance activities of certain segments such as the engine, line, airframe or component of an aircraft.

A wide variety of MRO companies concentrate on only one segment. For example, some enterprises focus exclusively on engine or airframe MRO services.

Furthermore, to ensure compliance with the aviation industry’s strict regulations, the MRO sector and its companies must be certified by the aviation regulatory bodies such as the United States Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) or European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) to name a few.

Here, AeroTime explores the leading companies in the aviation MRO market.

Leading players in aviation MRO market

Ge aviation.

GE Aviation was founded in 1917 and counts 104 years of operation in the global MRO market. The American MRO giant is headquartered in Evandale, Ohio, the United States. 

GE Aviation, an operating unit of General Electric, is a global provider of jet and turboprop engines, as well as avionics and engine maintenance for commercial, military, business and general aircraft. The company’s products, services and activities are subject to a number of regulators such as the U.S. Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), the European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA), and other regulatory bodies. 

With more than 33,000 engines in service, GE is a world leader in jet engine manufacturing. The company’s key customers include Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, Embraer, Sikorsky, and Lockeed Martin. The MRO giant also boasts a network of nearly 80 plants in 19 countries, which manufacture engines and provide overhaul, maintenance and repair services. 

Interestingly, GE Aviation is best-known for developing the world’s largest and most powerful commercial engine. In the early 1990s, GE developed the GE90 turbofan engine to power the twin-engine Boeing 777. The baseline GE90 engine was certified on the aircraft in 1995 and became the first commercial jet engine to operate with carbon-fiber composite front fan blades.

In 2013, and building upon the GE90 success, GE launched the GE9X engine as the sole engine for the yet to be certified Boeing 777X aircraft. Then, in 2019, GE has announced that the GE9X was the most powerful commercial jet engine after reaching 134,300 pounds of thrust during ground testing in Peebles, Ohio. This broke the previous record held by the GE90-115B engine, which was 127,900 pounds in 2002. By 2020, the GE9X had more than 700 engines on order for the Boeing 777X.

Recently, GE Aviation and Safran, a leading international high-technology group, launched the CFM RISE program to develop a new generation of sustainable engines.

John Slattery, President and CEO of GE Aviation was quoted in the company’s press release as saying:  “Together, through the RISE technology demonstration program, we are reinventing the future of flight, bringing an advanced suite of revolutionary technologies to market that will take the next generation of single-aisle aircraft to a new level of fuel efficiency and reduced emissions.”

According to Slattery, the new engine is intended for narrow-body aircraft, thus replacing the CFM LEAP currently in use by the latest generation of mainline jets, such as Boeing 737 MAX, Airbus A320neo and COMAC C919.

CFM International, a 50/50 joint venture of American GE Aviation and French Safran, was founded in the mid-70s. Since then, it has become one of the world’s most prolific manufacturers of aviation engines for narrow-body aircraft.

CFM to develop new engine for upcoming generation of narrowbodies

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Lufthansa Technik 

Lufthansa Technik can be traced back to 1951, predating its parent company, the German national carrier, Lufthansa ( LHAB ) ( LHA ). However, the company currently operating under the name Lufthansa Technik was established in 1995.

Lufthansa Technik is the world’s leading provider of aircraft maintenance, repair, overhaul and modification services from commercial civil aircraft to VIP and special mission aircraft. Lufthansa Technik is based in Hamburg Airport (HAM), Germany, with other important sites situated at Frankfurt Airport (FRA) and Munich Airport (MUC). 

The Lufthansa Technik Group consists of 32 companies with more than 22,000 employees worldwide. The German MRO giant has approximately 800 customers worldwide maintaining 4,500 aircraft under exclusive contracts in 2020. 

“In fiscal year 2020, we had more than 4,500 aircraft under exclusive contracts. Over the course of the year, we won 16 new customers and concluded more than 500 new contracts with a total volume of €2.3 billion for 2021 and the following years,” read the Lufthansa Technik statement. 

ST Aerospace

ST Aerospace, a subsidiary of ST Engineering, was established in 1967 to provide maintenance and support services to the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF). Since then, it has diversified into various MRO capabilities for commercial and military aircraft.

Headquartered in Singapore, ST Aerospace has international offices and facilities located at aviation hubs in Asia-Pacific, Middle East, Europe, and the United States. The Singapore-based MRO company has customers in more than 100 countries and employs approximately 8,000 staff across the globe. 

The company provides aircraft maintenance repair and overhaul services for a wide range of aircraft components and engines via a global repair and logistics support network. It offers services for avionics (including electrical, radar/communications, instruments and electro-optics), mechanical components and engines support (such as CFM56-3/-7B, JT8-D, J85, F404, F100, T53, T55, T56, LEAP-1B, Turbomeca Makila and Arriel engines).

To date, ST Aerospace is recognized as the world’s largest airframe MRO solution provider with the capacity to work on up to 44 widebody, 26 narrow-body and 24 general aviation aircraft at once.

In 2020, ST Aerospace expanded its capabilities in engine MRO after signing an agreement with CFM International to perform MRO work on the LEAP-1B engine, the exclusive engine for the Boeing 737 MAX. 

“We are monitoring the pandemic situation closely and will calibrate the pace of LEAP 1B setup to match Boeing 737 MAX return to service,” read the ST Aerospace statement. 

At the height of the COVID-19 pandemic, ST Aerospace, like many other businesses in the industry, was hit hard. Despite the downturn during 2020, ST Aerospace saved and concentrated on a multi-year heavy maintenance contract to support a Chinese cargo airline’s Boeing 767 fleet, a three-year heavy maintenance contract for Alaska Airlines’ A320 fleet and a five-year heavy maintenance contract to support an international air cargo carrier’s multiple fleet types.


Today, Rolls-Royce Holdings, which is owned by Rolls-Royce (established in 1904), designs, manufactures and maintains engines for the aerospace industry.

The British engineering giant primarily focuses on aircraft engine MRO and its development. Rolls-Royce powers more than 35 types of commercial aircraft and has over 13,000 engines in service around the world. Key Rolls-Royce customers include aircraft manufacturers and commercial air carriers such as Boeing, Airbus, Air China, Qatar Airways or Emirates. Additionally, Rolls-Royce has a wide network of engine repair and overhaul service centered across the globe, most of which are in Europe and the United States.

The most popular Rolls-Royce engines range from M250 to the Trent XWB. Members of the Trent engine family are now in service on the Airbus A330, A340, A350, and A380, as well as the Boeing 777 and 787 Dreamliner.

Recently, Rolls-Royce started building the UltraFan, the largest aero engine in the world. The UltraFan is expected to exceed the capabilities of the current largest and most powerful aircraft engine, the GE9X. UltraFan engines are predicted to power both narrow-body and wide-body aircraft and deliver a 25% fuel efficiency improvement in comparison to the first generation of the Trent engine family. 

Rolls-Royce starts building UltraFan, world’s largest jet engine

Rolls-Royce is also renowned for its indoor aerospace testbed, which is the world’s largest, situated in Derby, United Kingdom. Testbed 80 was officially opened on May 27, 2021.

After three years of development and with $127 million of investment, Rolls-Royce constructed Testbed 80, aiming to promote sustainability and contribute to lowering emissions in the aeroengine market. The new facility covers an internal area of 7,500 m2. 


Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company (HAECO) is an independent aircraft engineering and maintenance, repair and overhaul group. Its head office is on the grounds of Hong Kong International Airport (HKG).

Established in 1950, the HAECO Group consists of 18 subsidiaries and affiliates, and employs roughly 17,000 staff in Hong Kong, Mainland China, Singapore, Europe and the United States, as per HAECO data.

HAECO is responsible for a full spectrum of services, including airframe services, line services, component services, engine services, inventory technical management, fleet technical management, cabin solutions, private jet solutions, freighter conversion, parts manufacturing and technical training.

HAECO has attracted 150 customers worldwide, including Boeing, Airbus, Bombardier, COMAC, Qatar Airways and Cathay Pacific.

Pratt & Whitney

Pratt & Whitney is an American engine manufacturer also known for its wide network in engine MRO services. Pratt & Whitney, a subsidiary of Raytheon Technologies, was established in 1925. 

As one of the biggest aircraft engine manufacturers and aircraft engine MRO providers, it competes with GE Aviation and Rolls-Royce, although it has also formed joint ventures with both companies. P&W is headquartered in East Hartford, Connecticut, United States.

P&W data shows that the company’s large commercial engines power more than 13,000 of the world’s passenger aircraft fleet and serve more than 800 customers in 160 countries. Additionally, the company has a wide network for aircraft engine overhaul and component centers in Europe, Asia-Pacific and the United States. 

A statement from Pratt & Whitney read: “Our fleet of commercial engines has logged more than 1 billion hours of flight, powering the narrow and widebody aircraft that fly both passengers and cargo around the world.”

The most popular Pratt & Whitney commercial aircraft engines range from PW600 to GFT. In recent years, flight hours tripled across the combined GTF-powered fleet of the Airbus A320neo family, Airbus A220, and Embraer E190-E2 and E195-E2 aircraft, according to Pratt & Whitney.

Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance 

Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance (AF KLM E&M), a subsidiary of Air France-KLM Group, was founded in 2004. Their headquarters are in Tremblay, France. 

The business operates in three major maintenance segments: airframe maintenance, engine maintenance and component support (electronic, mechanical, pneumatic, hydraulic). However, AF KLM E&M is also responsible for a range of services, including line, predictive maintenance, and technical training services. 

The European MRO service provider employs approximately 14,000 people and provides services to around 200 airlines. AF KLM E&M supports 2,800 commercial aircraft.

MRO market trends: what’s the latest?

Over the last decade, the commercial MRO market has experienced steady growth owing to the global economic rise, an increase in demand for air travel and expanding global fleet. However, the COVID-19 pandemic provided a setback during the last 12 months or so.

According to the International Air Transport Association (IATA), the global aviation industry lost over $118 billion in 2020 and dozens of airlines seek bankruptcy protection or stop flying entirely as a result. During the crisis, cash preservation and cost control remained a priority for airlines, which also resulted in bad news for aerospace manufacturers and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) service providers.

In total, the COVID-19 crisis is estimated to have lowered spending on commercial MRO by about $40 billion in 2020, according to analysis conducted by the American consulting firm Oliver Wyman, Global Fleet and MRO Market Forecast 2021-2031. As per Oliver Wyman estimates, the spending on commercial MRO in 2021 will reach $68 billion.

Due to the ongoing pandemic, commercial MRO demand is unlikely to return to pre-pandemic levels until the end of 2022, according to the Global Fleet and MRO Market Forecast 2021-2031 study. The timing of MRO’s return to pre-pandemic levels of spend is primarily determined by a recovery in air travel demand, which is driven by economic recovery and the pace at which the international community battles the COVID-19 pandemic.

However, despite the reduced expectations for MRO growth, the compound annual growth of the sector between 2019 to 2031 is expected to grow by 3%, according to the analysis.

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Modernizing MRO

January 2018.

Companies specializing in maintenance, repair and overhaul of commercial planes are beginning to face competition from the companies that built the planes. How can MRO specialty providers compete? Industry executive Tom Hennessey says it all starts by embracing the concept of the digital thread.

The number of commercial airliners in the world is expected to grow annually for the next 20 years. The maintenance, repair and overhaul market is projected to grow, too, specifically at an annual rate of 5.2 percent between 2022 and 2027. The global fleet will be refreshed over the next 10 years, with half of the 20,000 new planes delivered replacing in-service aircraft; the passenger fleet will net more than 10,000 new planes by 2027. Due to regional differences in air travel, fleets in China and India will continue to age as aircraft are kept in service to meet outsized demand in Asia. In fact, aviation MRO in Asia has boomed in recent years, and the region is under constant pressure to keep up with infrastructure needs. The story is different in developing areas like Africa and the Middle East, where fleets are newer overall. The “2017-2027 Fleet & MRO Forecast” by the Oliver Wyman firm details these technology, travel, and fleet trends and their impacts on the MRO market.

With outsourced maintenance representing more than 60 percent of direct maintenance costs, competition among upstart and established MRO players has intensified. To keep up with global capacity demand and stay competitive, all MROs will have to make leaps forward in efficiency.

Fleet age, travel demand, outsourcing trends and global economic pressures will shape the MRO market, with regional differences and new aircraft technologies disrupting business as usual.

Traditionally, MRO businesses have not needed to invest heavily in R&D and corporate strategy. To rise to the challenge of more dynamic, globalized markets, MROs must quickly develop internal abilities to recognize, assess and prepare for change. Incorporating analytic and automation technologies is key to modernizing MRO operations and harnessing the power of enterprise-wide digital integration.

For MRO companies to come up to speed with smart manufacturing and the digital transformation of the value chain, they will have to make significant capital investments. Given time and resource constraints, they must choose wisely. Extending the concept of the digital thread throughout MRO operations will help shape investment and forge powerful links with aircraft manufacturers, airlines and the supply chain.

A digital thread links all model data, product structure data, metadata, effectual data, process definition data, including supporting equipment and tools, into a contiguous definition of all value-added decisions. Choices must be made about the definition of a product, its configuration, manufacturing and repair processes, logistics, and operational support. This thread provides a single reference point for design, engineering, manufacturing and service to ensure that those in charge of these areas act in concert.

Challenges to reaching altitude

Many years without disruption means many established MRO firms do not have a strong innovation foundation. Efficiency will require embracing automation technologies, analytics and 3-D modeling. That will mean bringing in new leaders in some cases and jumpstarting R&D, workforce training and infrastructure investment. That’s a tall order, and will demand a new level of executive focus.

The most compelling force in MRO innovation is the new generation of aircraft, defined as those built after 2000. New manufacturing methods and materials (including carbon fiber composites, highly engineered titanium, and aluminum alloys) obviously require MRO retooling. On top of that, they change everything from recommended maintenance schedules to aircraft longevity. As more new aircraft come online over the next 10 years, these changes will continue to impact the MRO industry, perhaps in ways not yet identified. Advanced systems on new planes include sophisticated avionics and thousands of sensors designed to feed aircraft health monitoring systems, which promise to transform predictive maintenance and incident prevention. This specialized internet of things, or IoT, for aircraft produces endless amounts of operational data.

MROs must gear up to fully leverage and integrate these data streams along with others from design to engineering to production. This is the essence of the digital thread. Aircraft manufacturers are already adopting the digital thread concept, which means MROs face new competition from them. By applying the digital thread, manufacturers are beginning to “servitize” various components of their planes. Simply put, manufacturers are capturing MRO business for themselves. Building up data management and analysis capabilities and closely integrating them with inspection, maintenance, and repair systems will help fend off these incursions. On the flip side, establishing alliances with manufacturers could prove to be a fruitful new business model for many MRO outfits; mature capabilities in advanced analytics and machine learning technology will be a precondition.

New-era MRO

The digital thread is in essence a communication framework that enables connected data flow throughout the asset lifecycle and across traditionally segmented functions (design, engineering, production, maintenance). This all-encompassing framework ensures an integrated, authoritative, up-to-the-minute view of the aircraft’s data that can be accessed at any point along the way. A related concept, the digital twin, refers to a digital model of a specific airplane identified by tail number. This twin includes specifications and descriptions of its geometry, materials, components and behavior. More importantly, it includes the as-built and operational data unique to that specific physical asset. The digital twin includes engineering changes made during production and deviations from original design, as well as inspection, operation and MRO data. Building the integrated infrastructure and capability to leverage these comprehensive digital records will be a game changer for MRO.

In the years ahead, the interaction between human expertise and machine learning or artificial intelligence has the potential to vastly improve the functionality, safety and sustainability of the global fleet. Progressing toward this AI vision depends in large part on an enterprise’s ability to collate, store, manage and analyze data collected by sensors in industrial equipment, aircraft, and operational and business management systems. The predictive and prescriptive analytics enabled by comprehensive and nuanced use of digital thread data and models could radically improve MRO planning and reduce aircraft downtime. Today, most maintenance activities are planned based on a combination of elapsed time and asset usage frequency, which leads to both over- and under-servicing of assets. Sophisticated integration of data and systems is fundamental to the successful implementation of several core technologies that are already changing the way MRO work is performed: unmanned air vehicles for autonomous, intelligent inspections; additive manufacturing of spare parts on demand; and augmented reality and natural language interfaces for advanced guidance of inspections and repairs. It’s not difficult to imagine how these innovations, used in concert and underpinned by the digital thread framework, could result in step changes in productivity, accuracy and efficiency. They will certainly prove to be a key differentiator in the increasingly competitive MRO landscape, with wide ranging repercussions for the entire value chain. A continuous, data-driven feedback loop from design through MRO will help optimize every stage of aviation manufacturing.

Flight plan

MROs cannot afford to taxi around the runway. The scope, growth and dynamism of the market indicate that the time for acceleration is imminent. Each innovation (not to mention any related integration projects) will require assessment, experimentation, iterative implementation and skill development. There is no better time than the present to head down that runway, and many leading MRO hangars are well on their way.

The first step is to create and rejuvenate internal organizations devoted to R&D, infrastructure assessment and strategic planning. Executives have to lead with a clear focus on digital transformation and a road map for all the change it engenders, including cultural and organizational change. The retraining and hiring required to cultivate an appropriately skilled workforce will be disruptive. Widespread technical skills shortages, especially in data science and cybersecurity, will be an ongoing challenge. First movers, as always, will have an advantage.

The next step is to focus on completing connectivity across the enterprise. Building up foundational data management and analytics capabilities is essential. Identifying and eliminating outdated functional silos and barriers between departments will unleash the collaborative power necessary to undertake enterprise-wide digital initiatives and pinpoint disconnects that will require extra attention. Implementing manufacturing management software platforms that drive integrated processes and enable the digital thread is a key preparatory step for bringing MRO operations into the smart manufacturing fold.

The change of pace over the next 10 years will be relentless, and the 10 years after that hold challenges we can’t yet imagine. From global economic disruptions to the surge of travel demand in developing nations, there will be plenty of turbulence. Intelligent application of the powerful innovations converging to drive the transformation of complex manufacturing will boost MRO’s flight into higher levels of global competition, fleet sustainability and enterprise resilience.

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  • Aircraft MRO Business Model Categories


In a previous article titled MRO Aviation Business Models 101 , we took a high-level look at aircraft MRO facility types and explored the aircraft towing equipment needed for a successful MRO aircraft management facility. In the second part of this two-part series, we're taking a more in-depth dive into the various aviation MRO business model categories and the typical support infrastructure required for each.

What is MRO in Aviation?

So, what does MRO stand for in aviation? To reiterate (if you didn't catch part one of our aviation MRO series), it's any professional maintenance, repair and overhaul facility that keeps airplanes running safely and reliably. This MRO aviation definition covers a broad swath of maintenance types. But, the specific business model categories that fall under this umbrella couldn't be more different.

Aviation MRO Business Models By Category

Each aircraft MRO business model varies greatly depending on which category the company falls into. In general, airlines do try to position MRO services and facilities near major hub locations to maximize efficiency. But this isn't always the case. The following are the four main MRO business model categories used in the airline industry. 

Note that this list does not include military aircraft MRO facilities. While militaries around the world do regularly partake in MRO and are some of the largest purchasers of aerospace  military ground support equipment (GSE), they are wholly inclusive and specific in how they are run. In addition, they do not operate with the goal of generating revenue. Because of these reasons and more, military MRO facilities don't fit within a well-defined category.

Regional Airlines And Air Taxi Services

Each regional airline tends to operate within its own business model, depending on the areas serviced. Regional airlines and air taxi services don't usually rely on major hubs to operate, unlike commercial airlines. Instead, they utilize aircraft designed to operate in smaller, less robust locations. However, some regional airlines do fly into hub airports in highly populated areas with a large amount of aircraft technicians. So, it can pay off to set up an MRO in these hub locations. But if this isn't feasible, a regional airline can contract out work to a privately owned aviation MRO facility.

It should be noted that it is not because of the land cost that regional airlines don't usually operate their own MRO facilities, but more so the nature of their business and the lack of certified techs. Typically, aircraft mechanics and technicians go where the work is. This is why you often see a large amount of potential employees and aircraft mechanic trade schools near major airline hubs. So, if a regional airline or air taxi service isn't located near a major hub with a pool of potential technicians at the ready, it can be extremely difficult and costly to set up a new MRO facility.

Commercial Airlines

Commercial airlines tend to forgo private-party MROs as they open the airline up to potential liabilities. Instead, a commercial airline usually opts to have its own MRO infrastructure in place. This is a necessity for large commercial airlines as they have to adhere to strict maintenance timelines.

Having their own massive aircraft MRO facilities, commercial airlines can control the flow and overall productivity of operations. In addition to this, a huge benefit of having an MRO infrastructure is that an airline can choose its own MRO facility locations, often aligning them with major airport hubs. An airline can then have the flexibility of working maintenance cycles into their flight patterns, moving an aircraft seamlessly from a gate into a maintenance hangar.

In-House Corporate Flight Departments

An in-house corporate flight department facility is typically located as close to the company and clientele being serviced as possible. Outside of the work needed for heavy corporate jets, these departments are used mostly for general and line maintenance, and they typically don't conduct much heavy maintenance. Because of this, additional space, scaffolding and specialized equipment aren't usually required. Typically, however, major corporate jet manufacturers offer maintenance programs. This negates a real need for an in-house aircraft MRO infrastructure.

Independent Repair Stations And FBOs

Independent repair stations and fixed-based operators (FBOs) make up a smaller segment of the aviation MRO market than other categories. These operators rely more on niche clients, usually catering their business toward general aviation aircraft and smaller commercial airplanes. It is important to note that not all independent repair stations and FBOs offer all services. In fact, most focus on services that don't make sense financially for commercial airline-owned MROs to provide. This could include everything from prebuilding a piston engine to installing interior components.

Equip Your Aviation MRO Facility with the Best Ground Support Equipment

It's important for your aircraft MRO facility to have the right GSE and technology in place. At Tronair, we're proud to offer aviation MRO companies the highest quality aircraft ground support equipment on the market. In addition, you can ensure you're getting the most out of your equipment with the use of our EBis Aviation Software . It can help your company develop and grow, reducing unnecessary costs and inefficiencies. Want to learn more about how Tronair's line of products can help your company thrive? Reach out today.

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All That You Need to Know About Aviation MROs

All That You Need to Know About Aviation MROs

MRO stands for Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) in Aviation Industry

Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) services are essential for any industry that uses machinery to run operations. In the aviation sector, the term MRO aviation refers to all the activities that are aimed at ensuring that the aircrafts remain ready to fly at all times.

Airports around the world have different types of MRO aviation facilities on-premises. Typically, the maintenance work is done on the plane’s airframe or the engines. However, nowadays the MRO aviation activities also include component MRO. Depending upon the type of service required, there are MRO services that need to be delivered at airports, and at times at designated off-airport facilities. For instance, activities like routine in-service inspections, daily check actions, or regular troubleshooting, can be carried out when the aircraft is parked in the airport. However, if avionics, radios, and other removable parts require servicing, they can be removed from the aircraft and taken away for the required MRO services. The three core types of MRO operations are:

Maintenance – When work is done to ensure that the aircraft is in prime condition. There are no snags or failures observed, but the aircraft is serviced to simply keep it in functional readiness.

Repair – Aircraft often require repairs as they are complex machines with thousands of moving parts and software integrated. If an instrument panel doesn’t respond the way it should or there is a dent, an engine failure, or a broken window, repairs are carried out.

Overhaul – With a high wear and tear rate, most aircrafts undergo overhaul after a specific duration of flight operations. As a part of the overhaul process, aircrafts are dismantled piece by piece, each part inspected and reassembled. The overhaul process allows detailed inspection of all surface and internal parts of the plane and is a key element of the aircraft’s lifecycle management and enhancement .

Nowadays, there are various types of MRO facilities in operations. Let’s take a look at these:

Independent Repair Stations

These are specialist MRO firms which might be tiny businesses delivering specific services to certain types of planes, or large MRO aviation companies which can cater to all types of aircrafts including fixed-wing, rotary, drones, and eVTOLs.

Fixed-Base Operators (FBOs)

FBOs are based at airports and they offer various line maintenance activities such as aircraft refueling and parking for resident and transient aircraft. Leading FBOs have built-in MRO aviation facilities.

Commercial Airline Hubs

All airlines focus on maximum utilization of their fleets. That’s why large airlines have their own MRO divisions which help them take care of their aircraft in a faster and more cost-effective manner.

Regional Airline Maintenance

Smaller or regional airlines have different MRO approaches. They have smaller fleets, fewer flights, and lower profit margins compared to national and international airlines. These airlines maintain smaller and spread-out MRO activities. They often lease space from the FBOs at major airports instead of building their own hubs.

Corporate flight operators

The leading corporate flight operators also build their own MRO facilities. Typically, they would have a crew of certified mechanics to work on their planes exclusively.

Defense MRO companies

Major armed forces maintain large numbers of aircrafts and helicopters with sensitive equipment and weaponry. Thus, they tend to maintain their own MRO facilities which deliver the same range of services that the civil MRO aviation companies deliver.

Irrespective of what kind of MRO aviation firm it is, most of the leading firms in the sector use advanced cloud-based aircraft maintenance software to take care of their needs. This is where Ramco’s world-class aircraft maintenance software can take care of all types of MRO activities on a single platform. These include:

Component MRO: Ramco offers a standard platform enabled MRO solution comprising Component Receipt to ARC Release, Quote Management, and Invoicing processes with efficient customer interaction capabilities for enhanced operations, usability, and easy handling

Engine MRO: Ramco’s MRO aviation software enables Engine slot management, Work scope evaluation, Engine visit, estimations, build-up, kitting, Digitized task card , Maintenance tracking, ARC, and Quotation & Invoicing processes with efficient customer interactions

Line MRO – The software takes care of AMO and Line station maintenance operations with efficient work scoping, defect reporting, and flight service billing with ease

Hangar MRO – It offers end-to-end cycle from Aircraft Induction to Billing, Work scope Management, Task card digitization, efficient planning, connected inventory planning, and Automated invoicing functions

Using Ramco’s advanced aircraft maintenance software reduces operational costs, inventory leakages, and lack of coordination among MRO crews. At the same time, it leads to enhanced customer satisfaction and growth of business for the MRO aviation companies!

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Five Aircraft Maintenance Budget Considerations (for Before you Buy)

  • Hire independent, unbiased advice to formulate an annual maintenance budget.
  • Before buying an aircraft, hire a trusted broker or consultant to support your flight department in developing its maintenance budget.
  • There are also software tools available that can help you compare aircraft and develop your budget.
  • Is the aircraft enrolled with an hourly maintenance program?
  • Is the aircraft covered by a maintenance program? If so, what exactly is covered? Engines, avionics, APUs, airframe? Make sure you know before you buy…
  • Hourly maintenance programs vary and it’s advisable to contact the program provider to understand all of the details of the coverage.
  • Be prepared for unscheduled maintenance events…
  • Unexpected maintenance is inevitable and can be a difficult expense to calculate over the lifecycle of the aircraft if it’s not enrolled on a maintenance program.
  • A good advisor or consultant will give you a budget estimate, based on factors including aircraft make, model and time on the engines and airframe.
  • Airframe Inspections, Airworthiness Directives and Service Bulletins impact maintenance budgets.
  • Be sure to know when the next major inspection is due before making an offer for an aircraft. When significant expenditure is due it affects the aircraft’s value.
  • Ongoing airworthiness directives (ADs) and service bulletins (SBs) issued for an aircraft can also impact your budget. Check for these before buying a used aircraft.
  •   Have you accounted for possible regulatory requirements?
  • In addition to current airworthiness regulatory requirements, check for future mandates that require aircraft upgrades or changes and will impact your budget.
  • It’s a good idea to look for aircraft that are already compliant, or at least budget for a premium cost for any aircraft not yet compliant.

FAQ: MRO for Business Aviation

The cost to maintain a business aircraft depends on the size, age and type of the aircraft.

Roughly speaking, operators of Ultra-Long-Range business jets should budget approximately $1,400 per flight hour for maintenance costs; operators of Large business jets should budget $1,200 per flight hour; operators of Medium-size business jets $650 per flight hour; operators of Small jets $570; and operators of Turboprops $485 per flight hour for maintenance.

Aircraft maintenance can take from just a few hours up to two months to complete, depending on the type of maintenance required and the type and size of aircraft.

The more involved the maintenance work, the longer it takes to complete, with C- and D-Checks being the most lengthy, but required less frequently than the more routine, minor checks (i.e. A- and B-Checks).

You can find aircraft MRO providers on AvBuyer’s MRO services page.

Alternatively, contact your regional Business Aviation association who should be able to provide you with a list of MRO companies and locations.

The best MRO provider will specialize in your aircraft make and model and should be able to provide references (upon request) from other satisfied customers flying your aircraft type.

Different MRO providers can vary significantly. Some are part of a chain with multiple sites while others are single site operations. Some are manufacturer approved, while others are independent operations.

Service Providers

Augsburg air service.

Augsburg Air Service provides maintenance, modification, repair & other services for all aircraft up to 5.7 tons, irrespective of their metal, plastic or composite construction. Augsburg Air Service is also CAMO+ organization and offers extended services for avionics and instruments.

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Bombardier Pre-owned Aircraft

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Industry Experts

Chris kjelgaard.

Chris Kjelgaard has been an aviation journalist for more than 40 years and has written on multiple t...

Mike Saathoff

Mike Saathoff is the director of sales operations & Engine and Accessory sales at Elliott Aviation. ...


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Excellence Aviation Services Ltd – An Excellent MRO Business Model.

From good to great as an mro business model.

The main owner of a Small Aviation Services business wanted to improve his MRO Business Model (Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul). It is fair to say when most Owners/managers of Aviation Maintenance businesses are thinking about this, they are predominantly focusing on the technical requirements of the business.

Fortunately for Colin Solley of Excellence Aviation Services Ltd , he thought outside the typical ‘MRO Black Box’ (sorry – couldn’t resist this pun). Colin looked at the option to work with a Business Coach, outside of the Industry, who could help him improve his overall Business focus. The results were spectacular.

A Basic MRO Business Model To Start With

Colin Solley is the Founder, owner, and Managing Director of Excellence Aviation Services Ltd, based in the UK. He started his Aircraft Maintenance, servicing Private Jet aircraft, through his expertise as an Aircraft Technician. Colin had a basic MRO Business Model, yet had big ambitions. Colin knew they offered a superb service, they just need to get more of the right people to know about it.

When Colin and his small team started working with us at LibAbun Business Coaching, they had ‘sub-let’ a small area of a hanger as service facilities based at London Luton and Farnborough Airports. It was fair to say that Colin was ‘Chief Cook and Bottlewasher’, yet at that time, he did have a small team of just three staff, including himself. These people would be very mobile and travel between their two sub-let facilities or anywhere else a customers ‘AOG’ had happened.

How Did We Change The MRO Business Model

When any business works with a Business Coach, there are very rarely any quick fixes. Changes in any business takes time to happen in an effective manner and the results of those changes can take a little longer to appear. Often when we are looking to improve a business, and in this case an MRO Business model. We are really focusing on training and educating the team and improving the business systems.

Most interesting is the changes we helped Colin make in his business. Ninety percent of the changes we made with Colin, were not technical based changes. Most of these changes were to do with Marketing, Sales, Customer Service follow-up, Employee/team management and fiscal management.

We did help Colin and the team focus on some technical related components of his MRO business model. Still, most of these were around ‘Service Level Agreements and Service Level Guarantees’, Aircraft part and equipment stock control, and their business infrastructure.

What Were The Results In This MRO Business Model

  • We significantly improved the business service level agreements and guarantees;
  • Massively improved their stock control, freeing up hundreds of thousands of pounds in cash;
  • Adjusted their pricing structure and service agreements to make their MRO business model significantly more profitable;
  • Improved their marketing strategies to involve a lot more social media promotion and better SEO through their website;
  • We helped Colin development the professional and flexible team he needed to supply a service that was ‘Excellent Aviation Services’;
  • Expanded the number of airports Colin and his team were offering their services from two to four, including London Luton, Kidlington, Stanstead and Farnborough giving them a more competitive edge;
  • The business was now making good profit levels and ready for a Sale or amalgamation with another company.

What Our Client Had To Say… 

Find out how you could also benefit from business coaching….

See more Case Studies by checking out the Categories in our   Success Stories

At Libabun we help Business Owners and Managers discover and understand the benefit of working with a Business Coach. We do this by conducting a   2-Hour Small Business Audit   which looks at your current business strategies and your current results. Next, we assess the options with you and offer you a myriad of improvements to achieve ‘real and sustainable’ growth. We also do this audit with you so that you get to understand how Business Coaching can work for you and your business.

You also get to see the competence of the Business Coaching team you are considering working with.  As a Business Coaching Organisation, we also offer all our clients a   26 Week Results Guarantee . So we want to make sure the business growth opportunities are there for you and we are confident we can help you achieve them.

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April 9-11, 2024  Chicago, IL, USA


The leading MRO show for buyers and sellers for nearly 30 years!

Mro americas joins the airline supply chain together to network, partner and shape the commercial aviation maintenance industry., aviation week brings mro americas to chicago for the first time, registration is open.

Bringing together 16,000+ industry professionals, MRO Americas is the leading MRO event in the industry and world renowned opportunity to connect with the entire aviation aftermarket.

The three-day exhibition features nearly 1000 exhibitors from around the world, representing all levels of the airline supply chain.

Content is available on the show floor at the Go Live! Theater and through a senior level conference providing a strategic look at the regional aftermarket.

Deals are signed at MRO Americas

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The Operation Management Model of Aircraft Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Business

by Editor IJTEMT

The aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) is important to the airline operation. The C check and D check need the longer lead time and higher cost than A check and B check. It is the good opportunity for professional MRO Company to get the business from airlines. This study propose the Operation Management Model, which introduce the concept of lean production and sustainable development into the maintenance process and management process for MRO Company. Thus the MRO Company can increase the performance and competence in the competitive market.

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Lec. Hakkı Bağan (PhD. Cand.) , Ender Gerede


This study sets out to investigate the hazards, root causes and outcomes associated with the outsourcing of aircraft maintenance, and to investigate how and why these hazards compromise safety. For the purpose of the study, questionnaires consisting of open-ended questions were used to collect qualitative data from technicians and engineers who participate in outsourcing processes, and who were selected through purposive sampling. An inductive qualitative analysis method was used to analyze the qualitative research data. The research results suggest that airlines see the outsourcing of aircraft maintenance to another party as an effective way of reducing costs. With cost being the main factor in the selection of a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company, MRO providers are under serious pressure to reduce costs as this is the major competitive advantage in the MRO market. These factors create a wide range of safety hazards. Furthermore, outsourcing causes disorganization in the production of aircraft maintenance activities and in the organizational structure of parties. This also gives rise to safety hazards.

A Qualitative Study on the Exploration of Safety Hazards Related to the Outsourcing of Aircraft Maintenance

Abed El-azez Safi

During the last decade travel and tourism has assisted the Emirates Group in spreading its wings into every aspect of travel, tourism and business to become the fastest growing corporation in its field. Emirates airlines and Middle East aviation system will face strong challenges with global aviation during the coming years. In the mean while, “the overall growth aspiration of the region demands a high-performing aviation system—including airlines, airports, and air traffic control (ATC)—that in 20 years must successfully serve more than four times the passengers it serves today. However, international benchmarks illustrate that even today’s aviation system does not fulfill current demand. In many Middle East countries, aviation systems’ quality and efficiency levels are well below international levels (e.g., compared to Europe and Asia). Heavy regulation also has resulted in limited service in terms of route frequency and destinations, high customer prices, and a need for high government subsidies to maintain the system.”1 Middle East aviation markets especially United Arab Emirates have set the level for reforming their aviation systems and have started encouraging trading and deregulation of airlines rules. In addition, the Middle airline sector plays a smart role in developing a world-class, such as Qatar Airways (which has a five-star Skytrax ranking) and Emirates Group (which has above-average profitability). “Aviation and transport infrastructure is the fundamental catalyst for the creation of global cities. The UAE’s open skies policy is the cornerstone upon which Dubai built its dynamic air transport hub, which in turn supports the growth of other industry sectors. The growth of Emirates embodies the spirit of competition and free enterprise, which will continue to guide their policies for the benefit of the UAE and of the global community in which they operate.”2 Finally, analyzing Emirates airline challenges through SWOT analysis and comparing it with Lufthansa Group a prove of being very active with Cargo and shipment services and passenger cater through developing there technology and advertise there 40 brands and looking to the needs of the customers. It was very obvious of the strengthen of innovation and creativity of Emirates is much stronger then the weakness and keep in going to hire new employees and buying new plans even during Dubai crisis. After compering Emirates with Lufthansa Group the largest airlines in terms of passenger and second largest airline of fleet aircraft. We will prove that Emirates is the most innovative and the fastest airlines growing in the world since they are 25 years old and Lufthansa 86 years old.

Analysis of Luxury Airlines Emirates Airways and Competitors

Jimmy Gandhi



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The definition of an aviation MRO

An mro is a maintenance and repair organization. therefore, naturally, an aviation or aircraft mro is a company which specializes in performing maintenance actions on aircraft and their components, such as jet engines and landing gear..

In this brief article I will go through what defines an aviation MRO, what requirements have to be fulfilled by MROs and what the difference is between maintaining aircraft and aircraft parts.

An aviation MRO must be certified

Like almost anything in aviation, an MRO must have proper certificates which allow it to perform certain tasks on aircraft in accordance with their approval schedule.

In EASA countries, the MRO must be approved with accordance to EASA Part 145 – a regulation which defines how a maintenance and repair organization must be run in order to provide the highest, acceptable level of flight safety. There are several aspects to obtaining a Part 145 approval, and I will go through those in a different post, but here are some of the basics.

The Part 145 approval is quite specific. It accurately describes what aircraft, engines or components the MRO is allowed to service and also in which scope the approval is valid. In other words, some MROs will have the ability to perform line and base maintenance on a large variety of aircraft, others will be approved only to do line maintenance on a 737NG type, while even others will only be approved for the overhaul of hydraulic actuators of a given part number.

The Part 145 certificate, which is the result of an NAA or EASA certification process, contains a scope of approval which specifies what a company is allowed to do. The scope of approval is divided into 4 main categories (A – Aircraft, B – Engines, C – Components other than complete engines or APUs, D – Specialized Services).

The categories above are divided into subcategories. For example, for category “A – Aircraft” we have subcategories A1 – Aeroplanes above 5700kg, A2 – Aeroplanes below 5700kg, A3 – helicopters and A4 – Aircraft other than A1, A2 and A3.

The remaining categories are also subdivided, particularly category C (Components) is quite specific with, for example, C8 being flight controls and C16 – propellers.

Category D deserves a special mentioning because the term “Specialized Services” seems very vague. This category is mainly used for aviation MROs which specialize in NDT (non-destructive testing) techniques and sometimes do not have an approval for any of the other Part 145 categories.

Aircraft MROs

Aircraft MROs are probably the first thing that comes to mind when considering aviation maintenance and repair organizations. You guessed it – they deal with aircraft. Depending on their scope of approval, they can do line or base maintenance, and at that, they may also be limited to a specific set of tasks which they are allowed to perform.

Base maintenance organizations will generally be quite large companies, owning a hangar (which is required for base maintenance) and employing a vast group of people to perform base maintenance tasks. Such organizations will have the ability to carry out heavy checks, commonly known as C-checks and structural checks (sometimes referred to as D-checks). Such maintenance checks can take from a few weeks to even a few months, are complex and their costs are calculated in millions of dollars.

Line maintenance organizations are mainly required to provide necessary, minor maintenance tasks in between flights. Those would include regular daily and weekly checks as well as some defect rectification. Line maintenance MROs will be able to replace wheels, brakes and most LRUs (line replaceable units) on the aircraft. They will also release the aircraft to service before its further flight.

Line maintenance companies, unlike their base maintenance counterparts, need to be fairly small and mobile. In order to satisfy the airlines, they need to be available at many airports, often 24 hours a day and with an ability to react instantly to unforeseen circumstances, such as a sudden aircraft defect. They are often based out of a small office and all their tools and supplies can fit on a single van.

Engine and landing gear MROs

These two types of aviation MROs deserve a specific mentioning, as they are very important in the life of an airline. In most cases, such MROs specialize only in engines (or only in landing gear) and at a specific family type at that. This is due to the fact, that the overhaul and repair process of such major aircraft components is really complex and sophisticated. Therefore – it is also very expensive.

Engine and landing gear MROs will have their own big facilities and they often have a production line much similar to those found in factories. They rarely have a standstill. On the contrary, they will rather be overwhelmed with customer requests to complete the overhaul of their equipment in a very short period of time. An engine is a multimillion dollar asset and no reasonable airline will want it to sit around in an MRO rather than earning its lease rates.

Engine and landing gear MROs also need very skilled and highly trained workers to perform the required work, and also often have their own NDT personnel.

Component MROs

The last type of aviation MROs is probably the easiest one to get one’s head around. Component MROs have to be certified like all the other types, but in many cases the type of maintenance they provide does not require as sophisticated an approach as that from engine or landing gear MROs. There are exceptions to that, of course, particularly in the field of hydraulics, avionics and emergency equipment (like emergency door slides, for instance) but in general – if you dream of having your own maintenance and repair organization, perhaps it would be best to start off with some easily maintainable components.

I hope that this clarifies, at least in a basic way, the definition of an aviation MRO. Please let me know what you think of this article and if I can answer any other questions – I’ll be glad to do so.

15 comments on “ The definition of an aviation MRO ”

Really interesting and helpful read. I was trying to find out whether base or line MROs would carry out lightning strike checks on large aircraft though. Can you help?

Hi Ben! Glad you liked the article. Yes, of course they can. Both a line and a base maintenance organization would normally be allowed to do that (although, with large aircraft, the line station would need to be equipped with a lift or other means of going up to the empennage for example). But this is just for an inspection. Should a repair be necessary, that would be done by a base maintenance organization. A line station could only decide whether the damage is within limits (and, for example, allowed to fly for a specific time period). Lightning strike repairs would typically require structural work, either per the SRM or manufacturer’s approval and would be performed by a base maintenance MRO.

Thanks, that makes perfect sense. We are looking at working with Independent MROs to allow them access to drone tech for doing lightening checks and potentially other inspection work.

This was helpful indeed this is exactly the kind of an organization I was thinking about I really what to start my own

Hi Hillary, I’m very glad you liked the article. And all the best on your endeavour! Although it is a budget consuming project…

Is approved maintenance organisation and MRO same term?

Yes, it’s the same thing 🙂

Dear Michal Swoboda Good day. I found your article interesting. Sir, I found that In the scope of Air Navigation Order (AW) Part-145 Approval Schedule Rating is there ‘A’ is for Aircraft, ‘B’ is for Engines and ‘C’ is for components. So far I understood Both for A & B ratings base and line maintenance of large aircraft, must have appropriate aircraft type rated certifying staff and support staff (qualified as C,B1,B2,B3). But for Component MROs ( shops) does it requires to have any such aircraft type rated certifying staff and support staff (qualified as C,B1,B2,B3)? Your kind reply is highly appreciated.

M Z sayeed Technical Management officer

Hi Muhammad! Thanks for your comment! No, you don’t need aircraft type rated certifying staff for component maintenance. The certification process of your staff will depend on your procedures, which you would write in your MOE and have then approved by your aviation authority. So, if you have a shop that does maintenance on, say, hydraulic valves, you would have your own procedure on how you train your personnel and who you allow to do which maintenance tasks. I believe the person finally signing the Form One would need a C license, but I’m not sure now and I would have to check the regulation. Either way, you can get the C license through the “academic” route by completing a degree and some supplementary training.

Hello, Thank you for your article. What about simple cosmetic cabin interior maintenance? Would that be category C? Would that be line maintenance? Can you kindly expand on that? Regarding certification, would that be conducted by a civil aviation department or a private certification company? Thank you very much!

Hi Piotr! Happy to have your comment here 🙂

Not an easy question. Typically, cabin maintenance (replacement of screws in seats, tray tables, painting of overhead bins, etc) is NOT covered in the AMM and hence cannot be done as neither line nor base airframe maintenance. Thus, it would have to be done as component maintenance under the C category.

In practice a lot of MROs just do it as line maintenance and sign it off as “standard practices” from the AMM. Whether this is legal or not is for the CAA to decide, not me. Formally, I believe that they shouldn’t be doing it, although it can become a nightmare.

What will be the % earning for respective MRO’s ?

Hello Mike,

I too enjoyed your article. Question – Is training, customer specific, included within an MRO license?

Thanks for the nice exposition on MRO. Please, what is the difference between an MRO and an AMO?

Thanks for sharing this article. This is excellent article. Aviation Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) Aviation Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) services from SGS – ensure the reliability, safety and productivity of your assets. Precise surveillance and upkeep of aircraft and their supporting facilities is essential to retain public and governmental trust in the safety of our skies.

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Gulfstream Announces Completion of Latest Next-Generation Manufacturing Facility Expansion

Gulfstream Aerospace Corp. announced the completion of its latest strategic expansion, the Savannah-based precision manufacturing facility for the Gulfstream G400, Gulfstream G500 and Gulfstream G600. This expansion increases the facility’s capacity by 142,000 square feet/13,192 square meters.

“Gulfstream continues to invest across all our facilities, including in Savannah, our headquarters for more than 50 years,” said Mark Burns, president, Gulfstream. “We designed the G400, G500 and G600 to have a number of commonalities that increase both operational and manufacturing efficiencies. Those commonalities mean that we have the flexibility to easily expand production lines to meet the growing demand for these aircraft, which also increases job growth across the region.”

Production methods for the G400, G500 and G600 were designed with Gulfstream’s Savannah-based research and development team and include advanced automation, 3D model designs and robotic and bonding techniques that result in unprecedented quality and precision.

“The technological advancements in our state-of-art manufacturing facilities help us deliver the highest quality product in the industry, built by the industry’s most talented workforce,” said Burns.

This manufacturing growth is part of Gulfstream’s overall strategic plan that in Savannah includes expansions of wing and empennage production as well as the Customer Support service center. These latest investments total $150 million and are expected to add 1,600 new jobs to the region.

In addition to the Savannah expansions, Gulfstream has increased aircraft outfitting capabilities in Appleton, Wisconsin, and at St. Louis Downtown Airport in Illinois, and continues to expand Customer Support operations in the Dallas-Fort Worth area and Mesa, Arizona.

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Pratt Poised To Finalize Next Steps In GTF Inspection Plan

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Capital A subsidiary gains EASA Part 145 maintenance organisation approval

Wednesday, 01 Nov 2023

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Asia Digital Engineering CEO Mahesh Kumar

KUALA LUMPUR: Asia Digital Engineering (ADE), the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) arm of Capital A, has obtained the European Union Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) Part 145 maintenance organisation approval.

The EASA Part 145 maintenance organisation approval stands as a gold standard in aviation maintenance for upholding the highest levels of safety and quality in the company’s operations, Capital A said in a statement.

"ADE’s dedication to high quality of service and safety serves as an inspiration to other homegrown MRO players, and we look forward to the positive impact this milestone will have on our country’s aviation and aerospace landscape,” Transport Minister Anthony Loke Siew Fook was quoted as saying in the statement.

Capital A said ADE’s new state-of-the-art hangar that is currently under construction in KLIA Aeropolis is scheduled for completion by the first half of 2024.

Meanwhile, ADE chief executive officer Mahesh Kumar said the MRO service provider is now able to provide industry leading aircraft maintenance support in Asia-Pacific and beyond.

"ADE will continue to bring the highest work ethics and business standards to Asia-Pacific’s aviation market and become a significant force in MRO services in the region,” he added.

The statement said that in a bid to accommodate its growth, ADE has set an ambitious hiring target for 2024, with plans to recruit 500 to 600 aviation professionals ranging from aircraft technicians to engineers.

This is expected to pave the way for further growth and innovation in Malaysia’s aviation and aerospace sector, it said. - Bernama

Tags / Keywords: Asia Digital Engineering , ADE , MRO , Capital A , EASA 

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