Author Background

Jukka Holkeri graduated from Aalto University as M.Sc in Aeronautical Engineering in 1988. Currently working towards a PhD degree at Aalto University. Main daily occupation, however in a top leadership position within the aerospace and defense industry group Patria. Principal research interests are around maintenance outsourcing.


The outsourcing of maintenance and other technical services is a trend in both military and civil aviation. This article uses input from real outsourcing cases in Northern Europe to verify previous literature findings and to introduce new viewpoints to fill an identified research gap.

Interviews of deeply involved individuals from six cases were selected and analyzed using the Delphi method. The findings were synthesized using a framework that articulates contexts, observed outcomes, and generative mechanisms.

Many of the key literature findings were verified by this case analysis, but there were also some contradictions and new observations that had not been identified in the literature.

The chosen cases represent three aviation industry segments and a selected geographic area. Results may differ in other segments and geographies even though aviation is regarded as an international industry. The methodology applied in this paper could be replicated in other segments and areas to broaden the scope of research.

Improving understanding of the underlying processes in aviation outsourcing activities should improve efficiency and even flight safety.

This research provides a comparison between empirical cases and more academic literature and shows the clear contribution of deeper analysis to research in this field. There also seems to be a need to continue case studies to achieve a more complete picture of the subject matter.