Airbus had a significant presence at the MRO Asia-Pacific exhibition last week, with the company and its subsidiary Satair each having a stand and several executives speaking about the future of the maintenance business at a related conference.
The show allowed the company to highlight its growing presence in the increasingly important Asian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) market.
Over the last year Airbus has taken full ownership of Malaysia’s Sepang Aircraft Engineering and expanded its capabilities, and set up the MRO Alliance that includes Taiwan’s China Airlines and China’s GAMECO as members. In March, the company signed a MOU with Thai Airways to evaluate a new MRO facility at U-Tapao international airport near Bangkok, Thailand. In addition Airbus and SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) also incorporated a new joint venture Heavy Maintenance Singapore Services in October 2016.
Airbus also showcased Skywise, its cloud-based digital platform which contains operational and technical data that airlines can access to make predictive and preventive maintenance decisions. Asian carriers such as AirAsia and Peach are among its launch customers.
At the show, Airbus signed agreements with China Airlines and ST Aerospace to deepen their collaboration in the MRO business. Satair, which supplies aircraft parts globally, inked contracts with China Airlines and VietJet on the provision of materials and spares. It also signed a deal with Pratt & Whitney on the distribution of engine components.
Speaking at the show, Bruno James, Head of Customer Services Business Development and Projects, Airbus, said that the company aims to grow its services business by double-digit figures every year, and added that Asia will have a big part to play in that.
“Our ambition for Asia is for the region to showcase innovation in the services business. There is the right industrial set-up, the right open-mindedness and can-do attitude, and the right technical and soft skills in the region. This fosters a more dynamic and open approach towards innovation,” added Bruno.
Airbus forecasts that Asia will account for 36% of the global MRO business by 2036, and this will be worth $660 billion over the next 20 years. This will be driven by a 4.5 percent growth in the MRO business in the region over the same period of time, compared to 3.9% globally.