The challenge of used serviceable materials (USM) shortages on in-demand engine families such as the CFM56 and the V2500 isn’t likely to alleviate over the next 18-24 months, a panel at MRO Asia-Pacific heard.
James Bennett, director of sales and marketing at UK-based mid to end of life aircraft specialist AerFin, doesn’t see things changing in the short-term, which he categorizes as a 12-24-month period. However, a possible wave of aircraft retirements could have a significant impact. “If the retirements then start picking up, then we might see some relief,” he says.
Mike Stengel, senior associate at AeroDynamic Advisory, agrees with Bennett’s assessment of the USM market. “Retirements are the best thing near-term to provide relief to the supply chain,” he says. “The only other relief valve I see which is far less likely is if you could suddenly start additive manufacturing cast turbine blades on a mass scale but that is certainly not going to happen in the next five years. OEMs are still being cautious about how far they implement these kinds of technologies and processes.”
Stengel says narrowbody aircraft being centered on two engine types has led to OEMs establishing support centers, particularly in the Asia-Pacific region, focusing on services for these models.