Indian Carriers Opt for Local Sourcing Amid Spare Parts Scarcity

As the global supply chain continues to experience challenges, Indian airlines are increasingly sourcing non-critical aircraft components from local suppliers. This strategy, which has been successful in the United States, is now being adopted by major Indian carriers like Air India and IndiGo. These airlines have recognized the cost and time benefits of this approach, especially in the context of their substantial fleet orders. Industry insiders at the Aero MRO India 2023 event in New Delhi revealed that using local parts could result in over 40% cost savings and reduce the availability time for some components from six months to less than a month.

Air India and IndiGo Pioneering Local Parts Use

Air India's Chief Technical Officer, Sisira Kanta Dash, highlighted the potential for local sourcing of non-critical items such as printer paper, stickers, and other cabin amenities. By specifying the use of non-critical local parts in their leases, Air India aims to gain regulatory approvals for these components. Non-critical parts, as defined in aviation, fall under Part 21 of the Parts Manufacturer Approval, requiring compliance with authorized entities for product sourcing. Similarly, IndiGo has initiated the process to get approval from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation for the use of indigenous, non-critical parts. Parichay Datta, IndiGo's Vice President and Deputy Head of Engineering, emphasized the airline's progress in identifying and using non-critical items for cabin interiors, gaining support from regulators.

Streamlining Operations with Local Parts Production

The shift towards local manufacturing of non-critical parts is proving particularly beneficial for airlines operating older aircraft, where parts are often scarce or unavailable. This approach not only addresses the immediate needs of the airlines but also supports the broader maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) industry in India. As demand for these locally produced parts increases, the Indian MRO sector is preparing to expand its capacity to meet the needs of the domestic aviation industry.

MRO Industry Poised for Growth with Local Parts Production

Bharat Malkani, President of the MRO Association of India, expressed readiness to meet the growing demand for locally manufactured aircraft parts. However, he emphasized the need for clear guidelines from airlines regarding acceptable standards for these components, particularly during the initial phases of design and production. This collaboration between airlines and the MRO industry marks a significant shift in the Indian aviation sector towards self-reliance and cost-effective solutions, bolstering the industry's resilience against global supply chain disruptions.