Aviation supply chain conference in October will bring together key decision-makers in the industry. Don’t be left on the runway wondering why your company didn’t attend.

Aviation supply chain industry decision-makers can be hard to track down – it’s not like they’re known to all hang out in the same bar at Frankfurt Airport.

But you're in luck: over 6,000 individuals who influence the final purchasing decision in the European supply chain industry will soon be congregating under the same roof in Amsterdam for the 25th-anniversary edition of MRO Europe.

They can be found among the 9,000 attendees, close to 500 exhibitors and dozens of high-profile speakers expected to gather over the third week of October.

Mingling with representatives from over 30 aviation sectors, not only will your attendance expand your contact book, but the very horizon of your business outlook.

Innovation and Digitalisation are among the trending topics

From major airlines and equipment manufacturers to Used Serviceable Material (USM) suppliers and MRO operators, every conceivable facet of the aviation supply chain industry will be represented.

It’s also a hotbed of discussion and learning – an inspirational speech or panel discussion could fast-track your operations into the stratosphere thanks to the input and insights of the gathered industry experts.


All four are pressing issues that will resonate with delegates representing every level of the aviation supply chain.

MRO & USM: State of play

MRO Europe will give the aviation supply chain industry a chance to reflect on the huge strides taken by the Maintenance and Repair Organisation (MRO) and Used Serviceable Material (USM) sectors over the last 12 months.

Heading into 2022, the Commercial Aircraft Disassembly, Dismantling and Recycling Market forecast a CAGR of 4.80 per cent for its sector continuing until 2032. But one year later, this had almost doubled to 7.85 per cent.

The value of the market, which stood at $5.95 billion in 2021, will grow to $14.35 billion by 2032, the report further claimed.

The figures not only reflect how the pandemic has accelerated the decommissioning of planes – the annual rate has grown from 460 over the past 35 years to 700 today, and by 2033, the International Air Transport Association predicts it will rise further to 1,100 – but also the increased interest in upgrading existing fleets.

According to Stratview Research, the low cost of USM is the “biggest factor behind the exponential growth in the market”. Its latest report expects the market to reach $9.5 billion by 2027.

Certainly, the current state of the MRO and USM sectors will be widely discussed at the conference. The need to reduce waiting times for repairs (Oct 17, 16:30), and the necessity to improve the forecasting capability in regards to spare parts and other USM needs (Oct 18, 11:45) are among the topics on the agenda.

Innovation: the best foot forward

This year’s MRO Europe is once again expected to explore the latest innovations and strategies driving the aviation supply chain industry forward.

Increasingly the industry is under pressure to innovate – the result of constantly evolving expectations among customers, environmental concern groups and employees.

Efficiency, sustainability and service improvements will be a constant in the future, as the competition for customers intensifies.

Among the innovation-related topics under scrutiny at the conference are the impact of sustainability demands (Oct 17, 17:10) and the need to attract and retain top talents (Oct 18, 10:00), while a discussion at the Go Live! Theater assesses the impact of startups and learnings from other industries (Oct 18, 11:00).

Several companies will present innovation case studies, including British Airways (focus on future investment; Oct 17, 12:00) at the conference, and StandardAero (focus on sustainability; 12:00) and AirStart (focus on efficiency; 15:00) at Go Live! on October 18.

Digitalisation: What’s new and exciting

At the heart of making the aviation supply chain industry more efficient, and more sustainable, is its move into digitalisation – and most of the related discussions are taking place at Go Live!

The only discussion at the conference is one concerning the benefits of digital management (Oct 18, 10:50).

In contrast, the theme of Go Live! on October 18, its opening day (by far the busier of the two), is ‘Innovation, Technology, Digital – Exploring what is new and exciting for MRO’.

Most of the discussions will assess the possibilities of the future, from AI-powered MRO (Oct 18, 11:30) and Bluetooth Low Energy technology (Oct 18, 14:30) to the utilisation of data to reduce disruption, cut maintenance costs and improve product design (Oct 19, 11:00).

Case studies include one involving both TUI Airline and Lufthansa Technik (focus on experience with digital solutions; Oct 18, 12:15) and a leading aerospace player (focus on leveraging data to attain agility; Oct 18, 14:15).

Capacity and capability challenges

The aviation supply chain industry remains challenging: not least due to the ongoing capacity shortages at most MRO providers, which is mostly the result of a lack of labour and limited capabilities.

Accordingly, the partnerships between MRO providers and airlines are being constantly reappraised in a bid to optimise production, delivery and general efficiency – no doubt, some of the findings of the more general supply chain-related discussions at the conference (Oct 17, 10:30 & 12:30) might end up informing future best practice.

Also up for discussion at the conference are the impact of durability issues on the industry (Oct 17, 14:50), in particular regard to the way operators manage their fleets and conduct strategies, and the wisdom of airlines and MRO providers agreeing on rotatable support contracts (Oct 18, 13:30).

Meanwhile at Go Live! on October 19, visitors can learn about aftermarket possibilities (12:00), the management of supply chain problems (12:15), and the effect of the demand for MRO on MRO companies (12:30).

Stellar line-up of speakers

Among the keynote speakers at MRO Europe are chief officers from leading European airlines, including Andy Best, CTO at British Airways; Javier Jimenez, CTO at Aer Lingus; Ian Malin, EVP and CFO at Wizz Air; and Pedro Macías Domínguez, CTO at Air Europa.

Also among the speakers are Anne Brachet, EVP at Air France-KLM Engineering & Maintenance; María Guilarte Polanco, Head of Transformation IB MRO at Iberia Maintenance; Bilal Karaman, SVP Aircraft Maintenance at Turkish Technic; and Karine Lavoie-Tremblay, Director, Commercial Engines Digital Transformation at Pratt & Whitney.

Future editions of MRO Europe are planned in Barcelona (22-24 October 2024) and London (7-9 October 2025).