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Demand for Freighter Conversion and Deferred Checks Propels 777 MRO Market

Many international airlines rely on the Boeing 777 for long-haul travel, and the OEM pointed out in its most recent earnings call that the commercial market recovery is progressing better than ever anticipated.

As of September 2022, 116 airlines had initiated 1,551 777 passenger planes throughout the world, which were made of the best aircraft parts, of which 867 were 777-300 variations and 684 were 777-200 models. Top airlines like United Airlines, American Airlines, Saudia, Air France-KLM, Qatar Airways, British Airways, Korean Air, Cathay Pacific, FedEx, and Emirati collectively run 771 aircraft of best aviation parts, or 49.7%, of the fleet.

The remaining worldwide fleet outside of China is scattered across around 100 airlines, offering prospective possibilities for independent MROs to come to the market. These ten carriers have the skill to perform hefty airframe maintenance work.

Two General Electric GE90-115B-powered 777-300ERSFs and 231 777-200LRFs with GE90-110B engines each make up the freighter fleet. In addition to placing an order for an extra five 777 freighters for Emirates, Boeing sent a brand-new 777 freighter to DHL in October.

Some maintenance repair and overhaul aviation are expecting an increase in high maintenance demand over the upcoming few months as more 777s are reactivated from storage. Actually, it was for operations of revenue following the coronavirus.

As airlines reinvest in improving the experience of passengers, MRO aircraft maintenance services such as damage assessment and repair work, cabin restoration, modification, and refit are in demand, according to HAECO. The 777 freighters have also been running successfully during the coronavirus, and they keep up to the normal high levels of maintenance.

In the long run, there will most likely be less maintenance needed for the passenger fleet because nearly half of the 777-200 version aircraft are 20 years old or older. Even though the sector professionals have cautioned that feedstock pricing – the price of purchasing passenger models for conversion – will be too expensive, there may be some market for P2F (passenger-to-freighter) conversion. The maintenance needed for fleets of freighters may be the single top thing.

Only 51 of the 867 777-300s do not have GE90 engines, and the rest of the fleet is powered by GE90-115B engines. Only 36 777-300s, or actually less than 5% of fleets, are older than two decades, emphasizing the 777-300 variants as being newer than the -200 distinctions. These 36 aircraft, which are made of the best aircraft parts, don’t have the GE90 engine fixed.

The majority of 777-200/-300 aircraft of best aviation parts, including the 777-200ER/LR in operation today, is between the ages of 22 and 24 – 83 aircraft. In terms of aim-built freighters, the 777-300ERs have the great age cohort at the moment at 7-9 years old – 138 aircraft and the 777-200F’s most common age group is 7-9 years old – 296 aircraft.

The 777-200ER model will be in power in terms of 777 retirements during the following ten years, with 261 mostly planned. Over the next ten years, it is anticipated that more than 60 777s will be turned from passenger to cargo layouts. The future for 777-300 variants, as well as in the P2F market, where there is a large present fleet for feedstock applicants, is majorly better in terms of fleet maintenance.

According to the CEO at HAECO Hong Kong, Benjamin Scheidel, the 777’s post-coronavirus use will affect maintenance costs in the present trend. He states that few 777s were safe in storage around the pandemic, thus maintenance expenses should stay the same.

As the use of aircraft made of the best aircraft parts enhances post-pandemic, we might look for top maintenance prices, particularly for the older models, as a result of both hard time and cycle-based inspections (after a set period, the parts must be detached) during which, in contrast to the latest models, more findings are anticipated. The same might also be true for the 777’s engines and other important parts, few passenger airlines would come forward to offer cabin refresh, which would boost spending on cabin upkeep.

Norbert Marx, CEO of Gameco, claims that older 777s are more likely to have flaws and other findings, enlarging maintenance work hours and extending downtime, especially in the fuselage area, where he anticipates urgent repairs in the time ahead.

He claims that the structural inspection of the underwing longerons is presently one of the main maintenance worries for the 777 fleet. As soon as cracks are discovered, the aircraft made of the best aviation parts must be fixed very far away, demanding exceptional jacking techniques.

The total demand for 777-team maintenance repair and overhaul aviation is planned to touch $11.9 billion this year, with 52% of that demand expected to come from engine maintenance, 15% from line maintenance, and 14% from components. 13% of the budget is permitted for modifications, and 6% is for airframe heavy service checkups.

Maintenance repair and overhaul aviation spending will touch $13.7 billion annually in 2032, with engine maintenance accounting for 56% of all expenditures. With 305 aircraft currently in that spot, the Middle East leads the in-service fleet quantity in this category regionally.

Emirates and Qatar Airways are expected to be the top two 777 operators at the end of this year, with 145 and 88 aircraft, respectively, in their fleets. By 2032, it is planned that aircraft maintenance and repair and overhaul aviation demand from Middle Eastern 777 carriers will total $5.1 billion.