By BERNAMA / Pic By BLOOMBERG
Airbus SE has agreed in principle to conduct a feasibility study for an investment to build a final assembly line (FAL) in Negri Sembilan.
State Investment, Industrialisation, Entrepreneurship, Education and Human Capital Committee chairman Dr Mohamad Rafie Abd Malek said this was agreed upon during talks between AirAsia Group Bhd and Airbus, the budget carrier’s largest supplier of aircraft.
“The state government is deeply grateful to (AirAsia group CEO) Tan Sri Dr Tony Fernandes in sparking Airbus’ interest to consider opening the FAL facility at the pro- posed aviation hub to be developed in Labu near here.
“If Airbus agrees, this will be Airbus’ fifth location for FAL facilities, in addition to Touluse, France; Hamburg, Germany; Alabama, the US; and Tianjin, China,” Mohamad Rafie told reporters in Seremban yesterday.
He said a special committee, comprising representatives from the state government and AirAsia, had been set up to conduct due diligence on the aviation hub development.
He said besides the FAL facility, the state government hopes to create a commercial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) centre for aircraft, engine and components at the aviation hub.
In its commitment letter dated July 15 to AirAsia, the world’s larger aircraft manufacturer said the company will conduct the feasibility study on the project within 18 months.
“The study will also cover a detailed technical, marketing and finance analysis to assess the long-term economic viability of the project.
“Various options will be considered such as MRO, a training centre, a data centre, possible industrial cooperation and Airbus supplier implantation,” he said.
Meanwhile, Fernandes said among the basic matters raised by Airbus during their meeting were land area and skilled workers.
“We’d talk to Airbus. We used our orders to interest them to invest in Malaysia.
“The most important thing for Airbus is having the right people. So, this a wonderful opportunity for Malaysia to bring a lot of high-skilled jobs into Malaysia,” Fernandes said. — Bernama