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  • Published In : Jan 2024
  • Code : CMI6267
  • Pages :160
  • Formats :
      Excel and PDF
  • Industry : Aerospace and Defense

The aircraft line maintenance market size is estimated to be valued at US$ 22.62 Bn in 2023 and is expected to reach US$ 33.58 Bn by 2030, exhibiting a compound annual growth rate (CAGR) of 5.8% from 2023 to 2030.

Aircraft line maintenance involves routine checks and servicing of aircraft in between scheduled heavy maintenance. It ensures airworthiness and operational safety. Line maintenance provides periodic inspections, troubleshooting, repairs and replacement of components. Rising global aircraft fleet and expansion of MRO (Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul) activities are key factors driving the aircraft line maintenance market.

The aircraft line maintenance market is segmented into service type, aircraft type, and region. By service type, the market is segmented into engine maintenance, component service, line maintenance, airframe service and others. The line maintenance segment held the largest market share in 2022 due to the periodicity and volume of line checks.

Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Regional Insights

  • North America: North America is expected to be the largest market for aircraft line maintenance market during the forecast period, accounting for over 35% of the market share in 2023. The market growth in North America is due to the presence of major airlines and MRO service providers in the region.
  • Europe: The Europe market is expected to be the second-largest market for aircraft line maintenance market, accounting for over 19% of the market share in 2023. The market growth in Europe is due to established aviation infrastructure and increasing fleet modernization in the region.
  • Asia Pacific: The Asia Pacific market is expected to be the fastest-growing market for aircraft line maintenance market, with a CAGR of over 18% during the forecast period. The market growth in Asia Pacific is due to rising passenger traffic and new MRO facilities in the region.

Figure 1. Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Share (%), By Region, 2023


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Aircraft Line Maintenance Market: Analyst’s Viewpoint

The aircraft line maintenance market is expected to witness steady growth, driven by the increasing number of airports globally and rising aircraft fleet size. Growing passenger traffic has compelled airlines to expand their fleet size which will escalate the demand for line maintenance services. Further, stringent regulations regarding aircraft safety and maintenance are acting as a catalyst for the market growth. However, high investment costs associated with line maintenance infrastructure and shortage of skilled technicians can impede the market growth.

North America dominates due to presence of major airline operators and largest fleet size in the region. However, Asia Pacific is expected to witness the fastest growth led by China and India on account of rising passenger traffic and increasing focus of global aircraft manufacturers. Emerging economies in the region provide huge opportunity for both MRO service providers and airlines to expand their line maintenance network.

Adoption of digital technologies such as internet of things, artificial intelligence and blockchain by MROs allows predictive maintenance and improves turnaround time of aircrafts. This will drive the demand for line maintenance. Furthermore, growing aircraft leasing market enables low-cost carriers to expand which will augment the aftersales line maintenance services market. Modernization of aging aircraft fleet especially in developed markets through MRO services opens new revenue streams for market players.

Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Drivers:

  • Increasing aircraft fleet sizes: The aircraft fleet has been growing steadily over the past decade. Major airlines are expanding their fleet sizes to meet rising air passenger traffic. For instance, China is projected to experience a yearly air traffic growth rate of 5.3% over the next two decades, surpassing the global average of 3.6%. This increase in growth is expected to generate a demand for 8,420 passenger and freighter aircraft between the present and 2041. This figure accounts for over 20% of the global demand for approximately 39,500 new aircraft anticipated in the next 20 years. This will drive higher demand for aircraft line maintenance services, thus supporting the growth of aircraft line maintenance market.
  • Rising flight hours of aircraft: With the recovery in air travel demand post the COVID-19 pandemic, flight hours of commercial aircraft are rising globally. Aircraft require routine line maintenance checks after flying a certain number of hours to detect and fix any technical issues. As per the International Air Transport Association (IATA), it has revised its forecasts to indicate improved profitability for airlines in 2023, followed by a stabilizing trend in 2024. More flight hours directly translate into higher line maintenance requirements from airlines. This will boost the demand for line maintenance services at airports.
  • Focus on aircraft maintenance efficiency: Focus on aircraft maintenance efficiency has been a key driving factor for the growth of aircraft line maintenance market. With air travel demand rising continuously and aircraft turnaround time becoming critical for airlines, there is more emphasis on quick and effective line maintenance of aircraft. Line maintenance involves routine daily checks, repairs and servicing of aircraft that allows it to be turned around for the next flight with minimum ground time. This helps airlines maximize aircraft utilization and profitability.
  • Advancements in line maintenance technologies: Original equipment manufacturers and technology firms are introducing advanced solutions purpose-built for line maintenance activities. For instance, Boeing is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide, offers maintenance performance toolbox-a digital platform that delivers real-time maintenance data to technicians. Airbus, pioneers sustainable aerospace for a safe and united world provides Skywise-a open data platform that enables integration of maintenance data from diverse sources. Other innovations include AI-enabled visual inspections, AR (Augmented Reality)/VR (Virtual Reality) for maintenance training, and additive manufacturing to print spare parts. Such technology advancements are aiding the transformation of traditional line maintenance practices, stimulating the industry outlook.

Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Opportunities:

  • Demand for green solutions: Sustainability is becoming a key priority for the aviation industry, with airlines looking to reduce their carbon footprint across operations including MRO activities. This is creating opportunities for the development of environment-friendly solutions for aircraft line maintenance. Use of fully-electric ground support equipment, solar-powered hangars, waste recycling systems, energy-efficient facilities, and eco-friendly paints & chemicals will gain traction. Airlines will also prefer MRO providers with certifications for sustainable practices.
  • Fleet modernization programs: Many airlines, especially in emerging economies, are undertaking fleet modernization programs to replace older aircraft models with new fuel-efficient aircraft. For example, IndiGo is a leading Domestic & International Indian Airline has been actively seeking A320 aircraft equipped with V2500 engines, commonly found in older-generation A320 planes characterized by lower fuel efficiency. New aircraft models utilize innovative technologies and require specialized line maintenance expertise. OEMs work closely with MROs to train technicians during fleet upgrades. This creates long-term opportunities for line maintenance providers to build capabilities early and win contracts from airlines inducting new aircraft models.
  • Growth in low-cost carriers: The growth of low-cost carriers is significantly driving the growth of aircraft line maintenance market across the globe. Low-cost carriers operate on a high-frequency, point-to-point network, which allows them to turn aircraft around very quickly and maximize the number of block hours flown each day. This intensive operational model requires substantial line maintenance activities to be performed between flights to ensure continuous aircraft availability.
  • Emerging economies growth: Rising disposable incomes and middle class in emerging economies is resulting in fast-paced air passenger growth across regions like Asia Pacific countries (APAC), Middle East and Latin America. This is fueling fleet expansion and new airport development, in turn, generating substantial demand for efficient line maintenance services. Local MRO players in these regions are attracting investments to expand their capabilities and benefit from the potential within their domestic/regional markets. The growth trends in emerging economies will unlock new opportunities going forward.

Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Report Coverage

Report Coverage Details
Base Year: 2022 Market Size in 2023: US$ 22.62 Bn
Historical Data for: 2018 to 2021 Forecast Period: 2023 - 2030
Forecast Period 2023 to 2030 CAGR: 5.8% 2030 Value Projection: US$ 33.58 Bn
Geographies covered:
  • North America: U.S. and Canada
  • Latin America: Brazil, Argentina, Mexico, and Rest of Latin America
  • Europe: Germany, U.K., Spain, France, Italy, Russia, and Rest of Europe
  • Asia Pacific: China, India, Japan, Australia, South Korea, ASEAN, and Rest of Asia Pacific
  • Middle East & Africa: GCC Countries, Israel, South Africa, North Africa, and Central Africa and Rest of Middle East
Segments covered:
  • By Service Type: Engine Maintenance, Component Service, Line Maintenance, Airframe Service, and  Others 
  • By Aircraft Type: Narrow Body Aircraft, Wide Body Aircraft, Very Large Aircraft, Regional Aircraft and Others 
Companies covered:

Lufthansa Technik, GENERAL ELECTRIC , AFI KLM E&M, ST Engineering, Rolls-Royce plc., AAR, SR Technics, SIA Engineering Company, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited, British Airways, TAP, ANA HOLDINGS INC., KOREANAIR, Iberia, Aeroman, Turkish Technic Inc., MRO Global (Evergreen Aviation Technologies), and Aviation Technical Services.

Growth Drivers:
  • Increasing aircraft fleet sizes
  • Rising flight hours of aircraft
  • Focus on aircraft maintenance efficiency
  • Advancements in line maintenance technologies
Restraints & Challenges:
  • Longer durations between repairs
  • Limited MRO personnel
  • High operating costs

Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Trends:

  • Shift towards predictive maintenance: Airlines are shifting from conventional time-based line maintenance to modern predictive maintenance strategies enabled by technologies like IoT, big data analytics and AI. Engine sensors and other digital monitoring systems on-board aircraft produce huge volumes of real-time performance data. Analysis of this data helps predict potential faults or failures in components before they occur. Predictive maintenance, thus allows airlines to minimize unscheduled line checks, avoid operational disruptions and reduce maintenance costs. More MRO players offer predictive maintenance as a core service.
  • Adoption of composites and advanced materials in aircraft manufacturing: The use of composites and advanced materials in aircraft manufacturing has been steadily increasing over the past decade. Composites offer benefits like strength, corrosion resistance, and weight savings as compared to traditional aluminium airframes. Reduced weight allows for better fuel efficiency and lower operating costs. Commonly used in popular single-aisle airplanes like the A320, various components, including the fin and tail plane, have incorporated composite materials. This trend extends to well-known wide bodies like the A380, where composites make up for more than 20% of the superjumbo's overall airframe. As more planes with advanced materials enter service, it places greater demands on line maintenance techniques. Composites require special tools, training and repair processes as compared to metals. This helps sustain the demand for new composite-specific skills development programs among technicians. It also drives the need for advanced inspection tools capable of non-destructively evaluating composite airframe parts.
  • Outsourcing of line maintenance activities: Many airlines are increasingly outsourcing a large share of their line maintenance activities to specialized third-party MRO companies. Outsourcing helps airlines focus on their core business of passenger transportation while benefiting from MRO vendors' experience, skilled workforce, and economies of scale. MRO players are enhancing their service portfolios, geographic reach and workforce training to capitalize on this trend.
  • Increasing use of portable devices: Maintenance technicians are progressively relying on the use of digital portable devices and tools that can be carried to the aircraft site. Handheld devices, tablets and smartglasses preloaded with technical manuals, repair procedures and maintenance history aid technicians during line checks. Portable printers, wireless routers, Bluetooth scanners for reading barcode labels of parts and mobile calibration devices also assist line maintenance. Moreover, wearable technology is improving technicians' productivity and safety. The use of such portable devices for line maintenance is on the rise.

Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Restraints:

  • Longer durations between repairs: With advances in engine technologies and improved design of aircraft components, the mean time between failures (MTBF) has increased considerably over the years. For instance, the MTBF for GE's GEnx engine is over 25,000 hours. Due to higher reliability and durability of modern aircraft parts, the intervals between line maintenance and repairs are longer which restricts the market growth. Unless utilization rates drastically rise, longer repair cycles will continue to hinder the frequency of line maintenance required.
  • Limited MRO personnel: The MRO sector faces challenges in finding adequate skilled workforce, especially licensed aviation maintenance technicians, engineers and mechanics. Factors like workforce aging, inadequate skill development and high experience requirements are contributing to the shortfall. For line maintenance, licensed technicians trained in troubleshooting complex aircraft issues are essential. The limited availability of such qualified personnel can impact the capacity expansions and growth plans of MRO service providers.

Counterbalance: The key market players should focus on employing skilled personnel who are trained in operating complex aircraft tissues.

  • High operating costs: Line maintenance is labor-intensive and requires sizeable maintenance infrastructure at airports including hangars, repair shops, and supplies inventory. Aviation fuel, spare parts, specialized equipment and tool costs are very high while skilled labor is expensive. Such substantial fixed and recurring costs affect the profitability and scalability of service providers, if utilization rates are low during weak aviation demand. This can negatively impact the aircraft line maintenance market.

Recent Developments

New product launches

  • In October 2022, Lufthansa Technik provides worldwide maintenance, repair, and overhaul services for aircraft, engines, and components, established a Digital Tech Ops Ecosystem by incorporating Swiss Aviation Software Ltd. (Swiss-AS) is subsidiary of Swiss International Air Lines, to spearhead the aviation industry's digital transformation in technical asset operation. Swiss-AS which is  renowned for developing the leading M&E/MRO (Maintenance & Engineering) software AMOS (Aircraft Maintenance and Engineering Operating System), became part of the Lufthansa Technik Group. This integration brings together AMOS with AVIATAR (Aerobic Vehicle for Trans atmospheric Hypersonic Aerospace Transportation), an independent platform for data & analytics solutions, and flydocs, a provider of Digital Records & Asset Solutions. This consolidation allows Lufthansa Technik to provide an unparalleled digital coverage of the tech-ops value stream.
  • In August 2022, Sky-Stream, an aircraft maintenance line station, has been inaugurated at the international airport in Antalya, Turkey. SkyUp Airlines, the founder of this facility, designated it as the exclusive maintenance provider for the airline's fleet.
  • Top of Form
  • In April 2023, Azul Airlines is a publicly traded company, has revealed the establishment of its latest business division, Azul TecOps. This strategic initiative allows the company to expand its top-tier operational and technical capabilities to serve external clients not only in Brazil and Latin America but also on a global scale.

Acquisition and partnerships

  • In June 2023, GE Aerospace is an aircraft engine supplier, has disclosed a strategic collaboration with Garuda Indonesia, the national airline of Indonesia, for the restoration and overhaul of the airline's GE (general electric) and CFM engine fleet.
  • In June 2023, FEAM Aero, a prominent provider of aircraft line maintenance services, declared the purchase of SR Technics' aircraft line maintenance operations at Adolfo Suarez Madrid-Barajas Airport (MAD). This acquisition establishes a comprehensive competence center for wide-bodied aircraft, thus facilitating line maintenance schedules and AOG (aircraft on the ground) recovery for 330/350/380/787/777 with various engine combinations.
  • In November 2023, Emirates is one of two flag carriers and Boeing is an American multinational corporation that designs, manufactures, and sells airplanes, rotorcraft, rockets, satellites, telecommunications equipment, and missiles worldwide, entered into a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to harness advanced digital technologies and expedite enhancements in maintenance operations.

Figure 2. Aircraft Line Maintenance Market Share (%), By Aircraft Type, 2023


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Top Companies in Aircraft Line Maintenance Market

  • Lufthansa Technik
  • ST Engineering
  • Rolls-Royce plc.
  • AAR
  • SR Technics
  • SIA Engineering Company
  • Delta Air Lines, Inc.
  • Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited
  • British Airways
  • TAP
  • Iberia
  • Aeroman
  • Turkish Technic Inc.
  • MRO Global (Evergreen Aviation Technologies)
  • Aviation Technical Services.

Definition: The aircraft line maintenance market refers to the ecosystem of service providers, parts suppliers, airlines, regulators and other stakeholders involved in delivering routine checks and maintenance of aircraft between major scheduled overhauls. It aims to ensure continuing airworthiness and safety of the aircraft fleet globally. Line maintenance activities are periodic and include inspections, troubleshooting, minor repairs, component replacements, engine maintenance, and airframe maintenance. The market is driven by rising air traffic, fleet expansion plans and outsourcing of MRO (Maintenance, Repair, and Overhaul) services to third-party specialists.

Frequently Asked Questions

Long duraions between repairs, limited MRO personnel, and high operating costs are the key factors hampering growth of the aircraft line maintenance market.

Increasing aircraft fleet sizes, rising flight hours of aircraft, focus on aircraft maintenance efficiency, and advancements in line maintenance technology are the major factors driving the market growth.

The leading component segment is the line maintenance segment. It involves routine checks and servicing of aircraft.

The major players operating in the market are Lufthansa Technik, GENERAL ELECTRIC , AFI KLM E&M, ST Engineering, Rolls-Royce plc., AAR, SR Technics, SIA Engineering Company, Delta Air Lines, Inc., Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering Company Limited, British Airways, TAP, ANA HOLDINGS INC., KOREANAIR, Iberia, Aeroman, Turkish Technic Inc.,  MRO Global (Evergreen Aviation Technologies), and Aviation Technical Services.

North America leads the market. 

The CAGR of the market is 5.8%.

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