Risto Mäeots: The Line maintenance which best serves the industry

In 2021 we made a significant change in our line maintenance structure – driven by our line maintenance brand Direct Maintenance®. It happened silently, but its benefits for the industry are yet to be seen and felt. What was it and where line maintenance is moving? Bear with us and you will get a better view.

Commercial pressure has forced the aircraft and their respective maintenance programs to be designed to enable maximum possible time airborne and minimum time spent on ground (primarily to avoid lengthy hangar visits). This, in turn, puts a big pressure to line maintenance service providers. The statement ‘man and toolbox’ are not what describes what the industry expects from line maintenance. It has become more complex. What has Magnetic MRO® and its line maintenance brand called Direct Maintenance® done to be at the forefront and meet the industries’ demanding expectations?

In January 2021 Magnetic MRO® moved its Tallinn based line maintenance (together with respective outstations) under Direct Maintenance®. In numbers, this means we operate in 21 stations and can cover 22 aircraft types with 40 different airframe and engines combination. But most importantly, what does this means to our current and future customers? Imagine you visit a globally known brand: stepping into the fast-food restaurant or buying a car from its official brand dealer. As a consumer, we do not expect any of the global brands to differ irrespective of the geographical location. The same principle attracts us to remain loyal to the brand – the experience promotes comfort via known design elements, known taste, service level – in other words, we cannot accept buying a BMW in Germany or in Finland would mean different logo, service level or design; or McDonald’s menu being with different content in different continents. Back to aviation – we noticed that an airline is often stranded with numerous service providers, each with its own ‘handwriting’. Again, having to admit that the market was offering what is convenient for service providers, not what customers actually need. From consolidating our existing line maintenance under one leadership to the future global growth in network, we will absolutely praise the challenge to be a pioneer and to offer comfort in every aspect.

On a group level, we have launched MagneticEngines®, a brand, which accommodates a wide range of services on a narrow-bodied aircraft fleet. Among others, MagneticEngines® offers a mobile engine repair service. We clearly felt, that engine service providers were stuck in past, whereas their high fixed costs disabled them to innovate and make their engineers move outside a comfortable shop environment. The reason being – it enables a high-fixed cost-based operation to earn higher yields while the engine is at their shop, not sending the specialists to recover an engine on-site even if the situation permitted such service. And, this ‘higher fixed cost’ of a large engine shop tends to end up on customer invoice. Having the luxury to start from scratch, then MagneticEngines® line maintenance service became one of the primary drivers: to offer engine hospital visits (light maintenance) and mobile service. In other words – our service is driven from the customer perspective, not from the addiction to our ‘high fixed cost-based profit&loss statement’. Will come back to how this connects back to aircraft line maintenance.

Under the leadership of Direct Maintenance® CEO Jacco Klerk we are taking action to have our line maintenance offering much wider than ‘man and the toolbox’. We are taking steps to combine the above principles and services. Yes, customers can expect Direct Maintenance® executing the standard airframe line maintenance, but also more demanding activities, as well as engine services in cooperation with MagneticEngines®. We believe that airlines will keep monitoring the recovery and adapting their routes accordingly. In other words ‘agility’ will prevail. This drives also our line maintenance offering to be agile.

Look forward to be at your service.

Risto Mäeots, CEO at MagneticMRO