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The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of Aircraft Industry in South Africa

The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of Aircraft Industry in South Africa 2022

Gary Phillips | South Africa | 22 July 2022

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Report Coverage

This report focuses on the maintenance, repair and overhaul of aircraft in South Africa and includes information on the state and size of the industry, the major players, corporate actions, key trends and factors influencing the sector. There are profiles of 25 companies including the major players SAA Technical, Denel and Lufthansa Technik, airlines such as CemAir and Safair and other players such as Transafrica Aircraft Services, Solenta Aviation, Global Aerotech and Airwork Africa.


• South Africa has the most developed aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul industry on the continent.
• Its position of strength has been undercut by the recent, rapid decline of the two largest aircraft maintenance organisations, South African Airways Technical and Denel Aeronautics.
• 2019 was a defining year for the local industry as Comair shifted its fleet maintenance contract to Lufthansa Technik.
• The pandemic affected the aviation maintenance, repair and overhaul industry.
• Global trends point to increased barriers to trade for independent aircraft maintenance players as airlines take their maintenance inhouse and original equipment manufacturers of parts, components and systems place increasingly onerous quality-assurance, certification and royalty requirements on independents.
• While maintenance companies servicing international and regional commercial airlines may struggle in the short- and medium term, there are opportunities for companies that maintain smaller planes and helicopters.


• A strong business and recreational aviation industry which can support maintenance SMEs.
• Airline AMOs can take on third-party work.
• Extensive engineering and technical capabilities have existed in the industry for a long period, particularly in Gauteng.
• Major airlines have their own maintenance capabilities and provide aviation maintenance divisions access to funding and investment.
• The full range of technical capabilities for maintenance in airframes, avionics, engines and components, for both line and heavy maintenance.
• Well-developed facilities and infrastructure with more capacity being developed at a number of international airports.
• Well-positioned to act as the continent’s maintenance hub.


• A poor working relationship between the authorities and maintenance organisations affect certifications.
• An industry training system weakened by the decline of South African Airways Technical and Denel.
• Lack of access to skills and skilled personnel.
• Limitations in present certifications available in the industry, preventing access to more complex work and larger contracts and causing these activities to be completed overseas.
• Limited government support.


• Hub and clustering growth around major maintenance suppliers, well planned, can result in effective positioning of supply chain and complementary capabilities.
• Maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities in Africa are growing, allowing for investment opportunities on the continent.
• The severe impact of the pandemic, particularly on the African continent, has caused a slowdown in the purchase of new aircraft and the requirement to keep older aircraft airworthy for longer.


• Continued question marks over the future viability of South African Airways Technical and Denel.
• Hub growth does not attract sufficiently large and influential players and is not supported by adequate incentives and support from local governments.
• Manufacturer and airline control over the maintenance supply chain may raise barriers to entry and limit opportunities especially for third-party, independent and small maintenance service providers.
• South Africa’s economic environment does not support the restoration of pre-pandemic flying volumes, limiting the growth of the industry.
• The strong emergence of Ethiopia as an aviation force on the continent, now attracting investment in maintenance, repair and overhaul capabilities.


• The industry is the aftermarket partner of the broader aviation sector which has experienced decline in recent years.
• The industry has retained some stability, especially companies servicing the smaller business and recreational general aviation market.
• Factors affecting the outlook of the domestic industry include the future performance of South African Airways Technical and Denel Aeronautics, the recovery of airlines, the growth of CemAir, FlySafair, Airlink and Lift airlines, which all have their own maintenance capabilities and the pace of development of maintenance, repair and overhaul industries in Africa which may eclipse those of South Africa.

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The Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul of Aircraft Industry in South Africa 2022

Full Report

R 9 500.00(ZAR) estimated $497.17 (USD)*

Industry Landscape

R 6 650.00(ZAR) estimated $ 348.02 (USD)*

Table of Contents

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2.1. Industry Value Chain 4
2.2. Geographic Position 6
2.3. Size of the Industry 9
2.4. Key Success Factors and Pain Points 11
3. LOCAL 13
3.1. State of the Industry 13
3.2. Key Trends 17
3.3. Notable Players 18
3.4. Trade 21
3.5. Corporate Actions 26
3.6. Regulations 28
3.7. Enterprise Development and Social Economic Development 30
4. AFRICA 31
6.1. COVID -19 37
6.2. Economic Environment 38
6.3. Labour 41
6.4. Environmental Issues 43
6.5. Technology, Research and Development (R&D) and Innovation 44
6.6. Government Support 46
6.7. Input Costs 47
7.1. Competition 48
7.2. Ownership Structure of the Industry 49
7.3. Barriers to Entry 49
11.1. Publications 52
11.2. Websites 53
Appendix 1 - Summary of Notable Players 54
Absolute Service Centre (Pty) Ltd 58
Aerios Global Aviation (Pty) Ltd 59
Air-Tec Aviation Maintenance (Pty) Ltd 61
Airbus Southern Africa (Pty) Ltd 63
Airlink (Pty) Ltd 65
Airwork Africa (Pty) Ltd 70
Cem Air (Pty) Ltd 71
Denel SOC Ltd 73
East Coast Aviation (Pty) Ltd 78
FFA Aviation Amo 1116 (Pty) Ltd 80
Global Aerotech (Pty) Ltd 81
Lufthansa Technik AG 82
National Airways Corporation (Pty) Ltd 85
Pearl Coral 1173 CC 88
SA Red Cross Air Mercy Service Trust (The) 89
SAA Technical (SOC) Ltd 91
Safair Operations (Pty) Ltd 93
Sahara African Aviation Maintenance (Pty) Ltd 95
Solenta Aviation (Pty) Ltd 96
South African Police Service 98
Star Air Maintenance (Pty) Ltd 103
TitanOffshore (Pty) Ltd 105
Transafrica Aircraft Services (Pty) Ltd 107
Ultimate Aviation Technical (Pty) Ltd 108
Yes Aircraft Maintenance (Pty) Ltd 109