The International Air Transport Association (IATA) has signed a deal with jet engines supplier CFM International (CFM) to address rising airline operating costs and help make flying affordable.

According to the companies, the deal is expected to increase competition in the market for maintenance, repair and overhaul services (MRO) on engines manufactured by CFM, a joint venture between GE Aviation and Safran Aircraft Engines.

Engines made by CFM power around 13,400 single-aisle aircraft. The deal is expected to benefit CFM’s airline customers, aircraft lessors, third-party MRO facilities and parts manufacturers.

IATA director general and CEO Alexandre de Juniac said: “Airlines spend a tremendous amount of money on the maintenance and repair of aircraft and engines to ensure we are always operating to the highest levels of safety and reliability.

“This milestone agreement with CFM will lead to increased competition among the providers of parts and services related to the servicing of CFM engines. We expect increased competition will reduce airline operating costs and help to keep flying affordable. And we hope that this agreement will be an example for other manufacturers to follow.”

As part of the deal, CFM has adopted a set of ‘Conduct Policies’ that will help enhance opportunities available to third-party providers of engine parts and MRO services on its existing CFM56 and the new LEAP series engines.

The company has further agreed to licence its Engine Shop Manual to an MRO facility even if it uses non-CFM parts; grant airlines and third-party overhaul facilities the right to use the CFM Engine Shop Manual without a fee; as well as perform all parts repairs when non-CFM parts or repairs are present in the engine.

GE has also agreed to apply the Conduct Policies to other air commercial aircraft engines it produces.

Based on the agreement, the association has withdrawn a formal complaint it filed with the Competition Directorate of the European Commission (COMP) in March 2016. The complaint regarded an investigation being conducted by the COMP into alleged abuses of dominant positions by manufacturers of aviation equipment.