By SHAZNI ONG / Pic By MUHD AMIN NAHARUL
The value of aircraft manufacturer Airbus SE’s annual activities and sourcing from Malaysia is projected to reach US$550 million (RM2.2 billion) by 2023, almost 40% increase from the US$400 million recorded in 2018.
The higher estimate is due to the improved production rates for suppliers based on aircraft types, the company’s investment in local firms and joint ventures, as well as potential new projects currently under evaluation.
The larger sourcing from Malaysia also reaffirms the European aeroplane manufacturer’s commitment to support the future development of Malaysia’s aerospace industry, said Airbus Asia-Pacific president Jean-Marc Nasr.
“Today, Airbus is the biggest partner for Malaysia’s aerospace industry. This is a testament to the high quality of work undertaken by Malaysian companies and their highly skilled workers, the country’s competitive cost base and a clear government policy backing the development of the local industry.
“We are 100% committed to growing our presence in Malaysia and we firmly believe that the country’s aerospace industry has the potential to become one of the largest in the region,” he said in a statement yesterday.
Airbus’ local suppliers are Composites Technology Research Malaysia Sdn Bhd (CTRM), SME Aerospace Sdn Bhd, Spirit AeroSystems Malaysia Sdn Bhd and SDMK Sdn Bhd.
The Toulouse-based firm had recently relocated all regional heavy repair services for helicopters to Malaysia under its expansion plan.
Nasr said it is also expanding the training centre with an additional simulator and will soon open a new regional helicopter completion and delivery centre.
“Airbus is also undertaking research and technology projects in areas such as sustainable fuels and factory of the future, in collaboration with Malaysian industries and universities,” he said.
According to Nasr, Airbus will be the largest international exhibitor at the Langkawi International Maritime and Aviation Exhibition beginning today, with a major presence covering its entire range of commercial aircraft, defence, space and helicopter products and services. The European aerospace giant added that this reflects both the company’s commercial success in Malaysia and its long-term partnerships in the country.
Nasr said Airbus’ “Made in Malaysia” parts today fly on the entire Airbus civil aircraft product line (the A320 family, A330neo, A350 XWB and A380) and the new-generation A400M military airlifter.
On services, Airbus said its subsidiary, Sepang Aircraft Engineering Sdn Bhd, opened a second hangar in 2017 to meet rising demand from regional customers for its single-aisle aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) solutions.
“In Subang, Airbus Helicopters Malaysia Sdn Bhd is in the process of significantly expanding its existing facility that offers pilot training, customer support and MRO services,” Airbus said.
Malaysia is Airbus’ third-largest market in the Asia-Pacific region after China and India, with the country’s airlines having ordered more than 700 commercial airliners from the company.
Today, around 300 commercial aircraft and more than 100 helicopters manufactured by Airbus are in service in the country.
The Royal Malaysian Air Force is also the first export customer for the A400M, with four aircraft now in service.