01 March 2023

Leaders from the global aviation supply chain gather on opening day of MRO Middle East and Aircraft Interiors Middle East 2023

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates – 1 March 2023 – His Highness Sheikh Ahmed bin Saeed Al Maktoum, Chairman & Chief Executive Emirates Airline & Group, today opened MRO Middle East 2023, the leading destination for the commercial aviation aftermarket in the region, and Aircraft Interiors Middle East (AIME) 2023, the largest cabin interiors gathering in the MEASA region. 
Running until 2nd March 2023, the co-located events are welcoming leaders from across global aviation supply chain, helping them discover the latest trends, insights, innovations and commercial opportunities shaping the future of the industry.
Day one saw increased presence from international visitors and airline operators compared to previous years. The post-pandemic recovery in the aviation sector has been demonstrated by a larger number of global airlines from Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Germany, Africa, India, and Pakistan – including new and returning airlines such as Wizzair, Air India, Air France, Sun Express, Nepal Airlines and Air Mauritius. There has also been increased representation of senior executives from Middle Eastern airlines including Emirates, Etihad, flydubai, Saudia, flynas, Air Arabia, Jazeera Airways, SalamAir and Oman Air.
There were a series of key announcements and signings by exhibitors during the first day of MRO Middle East. These included Joramco, the Amman-based MRO provider and the engineering arm of Dubai Aerospace Enterprise (DAE), who announced a new maintenance deal with Emirates that will see it perform nose to tail C checks and modifications on B777 aircraft from the Emirates fleet.
Meanwhile at AIME, ST Engineering announced that its Commercial Aerospace business has entered a Letter of Intent with Vaayu Group to provide the latter with its expandable cabin lavatory solution, named ACCESS. Kamal R Vaswani, Singapore's Ambassador to the United Arab Emirates, visited the exhibitors to recognise this latest milestone.
The Go Live! Theater brought together leading experts for a series of presentations and panel discussions on key industry themes including: Supply Chain Challenges and the Future; Airline and MRO Insights, and Workforce and Efficiency. The ‘Airline and MRO insights’ panel highlighted challenges in the MRO sector, such as labour and materials shortages, and how MROs and operators are revising and synchronising strategies and business models to develop their capabilities in challenging environments. 
Meanwhile, Husham Osman, Head of Maintenance at Royal Jet, Shaune Du Plessis, Director of Maintenance Operations at Texel Air, Valter Fernandes, SVP, Base Maintenance and Overhaul, Engineering Maintenance at Emirates, and Ziad Al-Hazmi, CEO at Lufthansa Technik Middle East, joined a panel discussion ‘MRO: The biggest headache’, which focused on supply chain challenges and how airline and MRO business models are adapting to mitigate these issues. 
During the discussions, Al-Hazmi said: “The market is recovering at a faster rate than expected, and we are trying to keep up with this demand. However, this presents new opportunities and we are increasing the skillset in the industry and training people to accelerate capabilities to handle this growth.”
Osman followed with: “It is a significant problem for a small aviation firm like ours to charter and operate, because the difficulties we confront are far greater than those faced by larger ones. In addition, in terms of logistics, shipping became a significant problem due to the extra constraints that came from COVID 19, and customer restrictions are another difficulty.”
With a spotlight on passenger experience during this year’s AIME, a panel discussion on ‘Defining customer-centric cabins’ saw interior experts explore the power of customer satisfaction and assess how customer-centric technologies, trends and policies are accelerating industry growth. During the session, Grégoire Desmasures, Head of Upgrades and Sustainability Services Marketing at Airbus, said: “Customer-centric cabins is a collaborative process, which starts with analysing trends, and working with partners and customers to adapt and define the best product to market needs. This is how Airbus Airspace link ecosystem is defined, with an open platform that enables hosting apps, IoT services, and connectivity solutions. The same methodology applies for defining more sustainable cabins."
A series of live innovative product and technology demonstrations, workshops and interviews were also seen at the first-ever Onboard Hub. Karol Dyło, Buyer at LOT Polish Airlines hosted a workshop ‘Buying and flying - Unpicking the interior procurement process’, outlining how strong procurement capabilities can generate significant value across the business, helping visitors understand the airline decision process when purchasing solutions and airline procurement requirements. He said: “Strategic procurement can develop long-term benefits for airlines. In comparison to other industries, there are many ways to improve processes just by more effectively utilising the resources that are already available.”
The co-located events will continue tomorrow at Dubai World Trade Centre (DWTC), welcoming airlines, lessors, MROs, OEMs and suppliers for day two. There will also be a host of new insightful content sessions and workshops at the Go Live! Theater and Onboard Hub, ready to continue inspiring the airline buyer community.
For more information, please visit the website www.aime.aero or mromiddleeast.aviationweek.com
For any media enquiries please contact:
Claudia Dalton, Account Director 

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