“Only a black eye”: MTU Maintenance weathers 2020 storm relatively unscathed


MTU Maintenance saw an 18 per cent reduction in incoming engines across its entire portfolio in 2020. This was above market expectations of a 45 per cent decline in shop visits for the global aftermarket for commercial engines, the company said.

Describing coming out of 2020 with “only a black eye”, MTU Maintenance attributed its performance to a “multi-pronged aftermarket strategy” of OEM network participation, joint ventures with airlines such as China Southern, and a broad portfolio across multiple business segments.

The company’s engine portfolio of 30 types, including the newly added LEAP engine, was also a significant factor. MTU’s diversified customer base, which includes still-flying cargo operators and the military, also helped.

“In fact, we even saw campaign wins of US$5.5 billion, the second highest in MTU Maintenance history,” reported MTU Aero Engines’ chief program officer Michael Schreyögg. “This is proof that customers trust in us, our financial strength and intelligent solutions in critical times. Our engine expertise and ability to get the most out of an engine at minimum cost is highly valuable to both airlines and lessors both now and in time, when our industry recovers.”

MTU Aero Engines’ SVP MRO programs Martin Friis-Petersen commented: “These campaign wins included over 300 new engine MRO contracts, including for single shop visits, and 56 new customers or existing customers sending new engine types to our facility.” The CFM56 engine family made up over one third of the company’s customers. “In turn, we are confident in this programme and are even adding a CFM56-7B line to our facility in Berlin to ensure fast response and high flexibility for our customers.”

MTU Maintenance said it was committed to its organic growth strategy and is continuing with on-going investments. It will also invest in its on-site service team and capabilities in 2021.

“Due to the crisis, we’ve been noticing a trend towards smaller and customised workscopes and on-site fixes,” says Friis-Petersen. “Our on-site service team saw 25 per cent more events that we had been anticipating for 2020. This reflects not only the cost focus of operators, but also the trend towards on-wing repairs for newer engines.”

MTU Maintenance said its repair service team gained 26 new customers for specific repair services in 2020 and increased the number of engine tear downs by over 50 per cent compared to the previous year.

“We believe in the aviation industry and that the need, desire and freedom to travel will return,” concluded Schreyögg. “Through our diversity, flexible network, extensive experience and ability to adapt to the market, we are and will continue to be well positioned to support our customers with intelligent solutions tailored exactly to their needs in 2021 and beyond.”

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