Air Transport World

Ameco-Beijing targets international growth: Air China/Lufthansa MRO shop looks to expand outside China while keeping its airline shareholders happy. (M & E).

The consolidation of China's fragmented airline system promised by the State Council decision last October to configure nine ex-CAAC carriers into three groups could rake three years to complete. But the scramble for China's skies already is being played out full blast at ground level. Industry observers believe airline consolidation will lead to mergers or restructuring within a domestic maintenance, repair and overhaul field crowded by 270 smaller independent operators with uncertain prospects. Ameco-Beijing, the Air China/Lufthansa 60/40 MRO joint venture, is in the thick of it.

With CAAC projecting 8% annual growth in the MRO industry through 2006, the lure for Western OEMs and MROs to enter or grow presence through JVs or partnerships is obvious. According to the Centre for Asia Pacific Aviation, about 65% of China's MRO work is sent overseas annually, a costly and time-consuming situation ripe for correction.

Ameco-Beijing aims to cement its pole position in this hotly competitive environment and grow with the market by enhancing a broad product spectrum. …

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