Growth and innovation in the aviation maintenance sector

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The city of Rio de Janeiro is hosting the largest and longest-running event in the Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul (MRO) and technical procurement sector in Latin America and the Caribbean: the ALTA CCMA & MRO 2024 conference. This event brings together more than 600 executives and facilitates approximately 2,000 meetings between 240 supplier companies and 34 airlines. Rio’s Municipal Secretary for Urban and Economic Development, Chicão Bulhões, opened the event on behalf of Mayor Eduardo Paes.

Growth of the MRO sector

José Ricardo Botelho, CEO of ALTA, highlighted at the opening of the event that the MRO sector in Brazil has experienced significant growth in recent years, driven by the increase in air traffic and the expansion of the commercial aircraft fleet. He noted that the global MRO market is expected to grow from US billion in 2023 to US billion in 2024, with an annual growth rate of 7.2%. Brazil is positioning itself as one of the main players in this sector in the region.

Panels and Discussions

The academic agenda highlighted the challenges and opportunities of the aerospace sector. Carlos García, a partner at Oliver Wyman, presented the company’s data on expectations for the growth of the global aircraft fleet and the economic, geopolitical, and social challenges that could impact the production and delivery of products. He noted that demand for MRO is expected to exceed 2019 levels by the end of the decade (2030) and that the current upward trends are technological advances and labor shortages. The downward trends are related to strategies for aircraft fleets and fuel prices.

Among the points highlighted by the executive: the growing rise in labor costs for MRO with an average increase of 7.3% globally last year and also the expectation that the sector will take 1 to 3 years to solve the current challenges of supplying parts.

The panel “Supply Chain: Challenges and Innovative Solutions” welcomed Wilmer Lopez (AJW Group), Fernando Miwa (GOL), Michael James (Airline MRO Parts), and Jeff Nixon (Proponent), who discussed the importance of lasting partnerships in the supply chain. They stressed the need to share data and information transparently and securely to meet current challenges and strengthen the sector.

In “MRO in Brazil: Challenges and Opportunities”, Antônio Campos (Mantaer), Plinio Oliveira (AZUL), Cpt Alexandre Gandini (GOL), Marcos Melchiori (Latam Brasil), and Luiz Froes (GE Aerospace) highlighted the shortage of skilled labor to meet growing demand and the importance of working together with technical education institutions to help solve this bottleneck in the sector. They also discussed the need for planning and the search for creative solutions in the face of rising material prices.

In this context, Ana Maria Persiani (ALTA), Michelle Linale (Thales), Veronica Klein (Safran), Liliana Bocanegra (AMP), and Maruja Correa (Iberia) presented ALTA’s ‘Girls With Goals’ program. This project aims to promote the development of women in the aviation maintenance sector, facilitating access to high-level educational programs, guidance to enrich their experiences, and the certifications needed to start a professional career. They pointed out that, although women make up 50% of the world’s population, only around 5% work in the technical sector, highlighting a major mismatch and the need for inclusive projects to make up for the lack of manpower in the sector.

The ALTA CCMA & MRO 2024 conference stands out as a valuable forum for debate on the future of the MRO sector, with an emphasis on efficiency, innovation, and collaboration. The event is an important space for strengthening relations between companies and suppliers, as well as boosting the sustainable development of aviation in Latin America and the Caribbean.

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Author: Edward Hardy