Lee Ann Shay | Chief Editor MRO
CFM International has become the highest-rated customer service MRO company, beating out Boeing, which held that position for the last two years, based on the third annual Air Transport Aftermarket Customer Satisfaction Survey, done cooperatively by Inside MRO, Air Transport World and AeroDynamic Advisory.
All of the engine OEMs, in fact, improved their overall scores this year except for Rolls-Royce, which slipped to the lowest-scoring engine OEM in the survey. Rolls-Royce has been plagued by Trent 1000 intermediate-pressure turbine and intermediate compressor problems that have grounded a portion of the Boeing 787 fleet.
The 787 and 737 MAX groundings probably also contributed to Airbus overtaking Boeing as the best in the airframe category. Airbus was the only airframe OEM whose overall customer satisfaction score improved year over year.
BAE Systems was the top avionics supplier, and Parker Aerospace generated the highest score among the mechanical/electrical suppliers.
Of the OEMs ranked, only seven logged strong satisfaction scores. On a scale of 0-10, with 10 being the highest, those OEMs are CFM (7.5), Airbus (7.3), Boeing (7.2), GE Aviation (engines, 7.1), Pratt & Whitney (APUs, 7.1) and Parker Aerospace (7.0).
The survey was conducted from mid-February to mid-May, with 185 qualified responses, including 62 unique airlines from around the world. The number of responses was lower than in previous years, which could be expected because the COVID-19 pandemic was unfurling during that period, and airlines were in sheer survival mode. Only 21 suppliers received enough responses to be statistically valid.
OEMs were ranked in the following categories: ease of doing business, product reliability, technical support, parts cost, parts availability, aircraft-on-ground (AOG) support, OEM repair cost, OEM service center performance, overall satisfaction and likelihood of recommending them to a peer or colleague.
There are regional differences but, in general, European airlines are less critical and North American are far more critical of their supply base, says Jonas Murby, an AeroDynamic Advisory principal.