Delta's Gorman says strong MRO business may offset tough economy

MINNEAPOLIS, 30 March 2009 Steve Gorman, executive vice president and chief operating officer, for Delta Airlines says his company's maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) business from avionics components to engines is growing each year and should offset some of the losses due to the tough economy.

Mar 30th, 2009

By John McHale

MINNEAPOLIS, 30 March 2009 Steve Gorman, executive vice president and chief operating officer, for Delta Airlines says his company's maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO business from avionics components to engines is growing each year and should offset some of the losses due to the tough economy.

Gorman made his remarks during the keynote address at the Avionics Maintenance Conference (AMC), run by the ARINC standards organization, in Minneapolis this morning.

Delta's MRO business grew from about $240 million in 2005 to about $500 million last year, Gorman says.

Delta has begun performing MRO for the CFM 56-5 aircraft engine, which is flown on Airbus jets. Gorman says the CFM-56-5 business alone could bring about $250 million a year.

This opportunity came through last year's merger with Northwest Airlines, which has Airbus vehicles in its fleet last year, Gorman says.

Delta also works on many avionics components as part of their operation such as weather radar, cockpit displays, Traffic alert and Collision Avoidance System (TCAS), etc.

Gorman was named to his current position last year to help run the combined entity of Northwest and Delta.

The Delta brand is slowly being spread across the Northwest fleet, but this will take time, he adds. Eventually all elements of Northwest will be assimilated into the Delta fold.

The official term for the process is single operating certification (SOC). So far Delta has certified 75 percent of its operations with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), Gorman says.

The goal of SOC is to have all elements of both airlines be interchangeable such as – pilots, flight attendants, flight operations, control centers, and airport operations, Gorman says. In other words the two airlines become one in the eyes of the FAA by having one set of policies for all elements of the organization – not one set for Delta and one for Northwest.

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