MGT has a found a successful niche business in the supply of landing gear components.
MGT was founded in 2002 in Pompano Beach, FL, as a general aircraft spare parts broker, says Olivier Mongenot, president.
However, a few years later, it became clear that there was good potential in specialising in landing gear components, including associated hydraulic components such as actuators.
In addition, the Airbus A320 Family was identified as the lead aircraft, due to the number of aircraft in service in the Americas, including several big fleets; a couple of large MROs involved with the aircraft; and from easier access to the market – there was less competition and Boeing had introduced a licencing system (it is now buying them back, to consolidate its position in the aftermarket, he notes).
The company follows the traditional pattern of buying surplus inventory, especially from airlines, as well as new parts from the OEMs and offers AOG support, repair and overhaul management, parts exchange pooling and customised kitting, as well as storage and distribution.
It is not directly involved in aircraft teardowns but this can be a source of inventory from time to time. Customers come from around the world and include airlines and MROs (REVIMA is one of MGT’s biggest clients), and Asia is the next target, he says.
The keys to success, he says, are customer service, pricing and availability. In the latter case, having inventory located in the US was a major advantage, even over some of those OEMs.
One of the first companies to recognise this was Zodiac Aerospace and, in 2015, a strategic agreement was signed for MGT to become a worldwide distributor of landing gear conduit assemblies for aircraft including the Boeing 747/767, Bombardier CRJ/Challenger and McDonnell Douglas MD-11.
In a reverse process, recognising the growing importance of the European market, a facility was opened at Aéroport de Toussus Le Noble to the west of Paris in 2011.
One spin off from the landing gear business is the Aero Distribution division. He explains that several of the OEMs from which MGT buys inventory approached the company to say that they had no US presence.
As a result, the division now accounts for some 10 per cent of turnover (although it is not expected to grow significantly) and covers such items as bearings, bushings, clamps, scrapers, seals and specific consumables/expendables.
Another business sector is the sale of excess inventory on a consignment basis, which brought about a significant boost to the company.
Concentrating on the A320 Family meant close links were developed with the landing gear OEM – at that time, Messier-Bugatti, now Safran Landing Systems, and now also including Dowty.
In 2018, MGT Europe was officially authorised to resell a selection of surplus Safran Landing Systems spares and hydraulic components and used stock.
This brought in the Airbus A300/310 and A330/340 and added regional aircraft (ATR 42/72, BAE Systems 146, Bombardier CRJ and Dornier 328), as well as Dassault Falcon business jets, as well as Airbus Dauphin and Puma/Super Puma helicopters.
Most of these additional activities are operating at a relatively low level but he says the OEM agreement has brought access to larger components without the need for investment. From a marketing point of view, he adds, having OEM support and full traceability of components are distinct marketing advantages.
There is still interest in expanding into other areas but he notes that there are some barriers to entry.