The region’s MRO business will be worth $660 billion over 20 years

With the Asia-Pacific area’s airliner fleet expected to nearly triple by 2036, this regional growth will translate into a booming market for the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) of its operational aircraft.

Airbus predicts the Asia-Pacific MRO business alone will grow by 4.5 percent annually (compared with 3.7 percent worldwide) through 2036, representing more than $660 billion spent during that time on components, line maintenance, airframe base maintenance and engine maintenance.

Capitalizing on this opportunity, Airbus has accelerated its activities in the region since the last Singapore Airshow two years ago, building upon opportunities through acquisitions, joint ventures and partnerships with digitalisation and innovation as key drivers – all of which are being underscored at this year’s Singapore aerospace event.

Singapore: Airbus’ Asia-Pacific customer services hub

To seamlessly coordinate its increased support and service activities in the Asia-Pacific area, Airbus has created a new customer services hub with more than 1,000 highly qualified employees spread across the region, close to customer operations. The hub is based at Airbus Asia headquarters in Singapore’s Seletar Aerospace Park.

Illustrating Airbus’ increasing MRO presence in the region, Malaysia’s Sepang Aircraft Engineering – which joined the Airbus services family following an October 2017 acquisition –recently opened a second hangar in response to growing demand, and is equipped with an eco-friendly paint facility. Meanwhile, Heavy Maintenance Services (HMS) Singapore was launched less than 18 months ago as an Airbus joint venture with SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC). These latest moves will allow Airbus to better cater to the needs of the Asian-Pacific MRO market.

Maintenance, innovation and digitalisation

Additionally, Airbus’ Hangar of the Future – a high-technology project to digitise and automate many maintenance operations for increased overall efficiency – has made significant progress since being launched two years ago with the Singapore Economic Development Board’s support.

The project was further accelerated by Skywise – Airbus’ open data aviation platform announced at the 2017 Paris Air Show – and is now becoming a reality, with ongoing trials in a testbed hangar at Singapore’s Temasek Polytechnic education institution.

In parallel to the area’s increased MRO needs, Airbus foresees a global Asia-Pacific demand for 220,000 new trained pilots (for aircraft sized above 100 passengers), and more than 200,000 new technicians – a market representing some 40 percent of the flight and maintenance crews being trained worldwide. This demand is addressed by the Airbus Asia Training Centre (a joint venture with Singapore Airlines, opened in 2016), which will extend its capacity in 2018 – becoming one of Airbus’ largest training centres in the world.

The Airbus Asia Training Centre – a joint venture with Singapore Airlines which opened in 2016 – will extend its capacity in 2018, becoming one of Airbus’ largest such facilities in the world