Oil prices, like elections, have conse- quences. When oil prices rose steadi- ly and dramatically from 2000 to 2008, airlines and their suppliers
scrambled for ways to deal with much higher fuel
costs, and the prime solution was more efficient
engines. Engine OEMs developed next-gen powerplants based on new technologies and materials.
But oil prices plummeted after 2014, coinciding with
a continued recovery from the 2008-2009 recession. So
older aircraft and engines stayed in feets much
longer to cope with strong demand. Fracking has
By 2018, OEMs, MRO shops and airlines
were struggling with two challenges: keeping huge counts
of legacy engines fying with stretched overhaul capacity,
spares and parts; and dealing with the teething problems
of new engines that were highly fuel-efcient, as promised,
but came with the sort of glitches common in the frst few
years of new engine programs.
The engine MRO business shifts course. BY HENRY CANADAY