MRO Asia 2008 concluded today in Singapore. Here are some of my impressions from this year’s show:
1. The prevailing mood was definitely on the somber side. Every speaker mentioned the “financial crisis” or “market turmoil” at some point or other in his/her speech, some more than once. The presentation from the Association of Asia Pacific Airlines (AAPA) included one slide that had several bullet points all saying, in diffferent words: “expect bad times ahead, we have no idea what to expect”. The continuously falling oil price was small consolation in the general feeling of uncertainty.
2. The exhibition floor was comparable in size to last year’s show in Shanghai, but some of the players in the MRO IT space were conspicuously absent. While most of the best-of-breed MRO providers were there, Swiss Aviation Software was absent. The two “gorillas” in this space – SAP and Oracle – were also absent, although Axon Global was there, with their new iMRO offering, which basically is to replace SAP MRO. From the content delivery players, OpenConnent was not there. Perhaps the European players do not view Asia as a market they need to invest in.
3. As for the attendees, most Asian airlines and many of the non-Asian ones, were represented. However, there seemed to be fewer delegates compared to last year, definitely fewer representatives from Chinese airlines. I know for a fact that one of the airlines planned to send five senior delegates but, with the recent upheavals in the world economy, decided at the last minute to cancel the trip and send two junior delegates instead.
4. Any vendor that attends a major show like MRO Asia carefully monitors the topics that customers and prospects want to discuss. In this regard, Enigma InService Job Card Generator drew a lot of attention from attendees. It is clear that airlines and MROs view the ability to provide intelligent job cards quickly and easily as a key component to accelerating maintenance. Several airlines were seeking even greater automation, and took great interest in Enigma InService MRO. In this regard, it was nice to have important customers, like KLM, at the show that can verify the cost reductions and productivity improvements that are available through advanced technology.
Next year’s show is in Hong Kong. See you all there!