Airbus upbeat on Malaysia, ASEAN air travel growth post-pandemic

by BERNAMA / pic by AFP

KUALA LUMPUR – Aircraft manufacturer, Airbus is upbeat on Malaysia’s quick recovery post-pandemic and the country is poised to record strong air traffic growth in the ASEAN region, said its Asia-Pacific President Anand Stanley.

“The demand for air travel (from the people) will be higher in this region, and the (regional) airlines will have a strong role to play – to resume and meet the demand, which will have a strong multiplier effect on the trade and economic activities in the region.

“We at Airbus are prepared, (on) health safety standpoint, and airlines are also prepared to be able to resume growth,” he told a media roundtable here, today.

On the global front, Stanley said Airbus sees the recovery in activities picking up very quickly especially in certain countries such as China, India, and the United States.

After the domestic travel resumes, he encouraged the opening of international borders, at least at the ASEAN level, in order for the regional traffic to start recovering quickly, and followed by the intercontinental or long-haul routes.

Being a key country in ASEAN, Malaysia is well-positioned to reap the benefits from the resumption in air travel, he said.

On Airbus operations in Malaysia, Stanley said the manufacturer’s industrial and procurements have not been at the pre-pandemic levels at present due to the pandemic restrictions.

However, Airbus is committed to expanding its presence in Malaysia and looking at industrial exposure beyond the recent pre-pandemic level of US$400 million a year.

“Our focus today is on working with our customers to be ready for the post-pandemic world, to provide solutions to our customers to be successful in the post-pandemic era.

“Once our customers are successful and more people fly, we believe demand in air traffic will translate into demand for planes in the post-pandemic world,” he said, citing Airbus had to cut 40 per cent of its global production last year.

Altogether, Airbus partners with 14 companies producing structures, components, and parts for the complete range of its civil aircraft and A400M military transporter.

Malaysia is Airbus’ largest supplier base in Southeast Asia and the third largest in Asia after China and India.

Airbus delivered 566 units of commercial aircraft in 2020.