Thai Airways International (THAI) and Airbus this week signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) to jointly “evaluate” development of a new MRO facility at Thailand’s U-Tapao International Airport, south of Bangkok. The MoU was formalised on Wednesday by Thailand’s deputy Prime Minister, Somkid Jatusripitak, Airbus Commercial Aircraft president, Fabrice Brégier, and THAI acting president, Usanee Sangsingkeo.
The proposed MRO hub will offer line and heavy maintenance services and utilize digital technology analysis of aircraft maintenance data. In addition it will offer clients UAV inspection of airframes, a repair centre for composite structures and a maintenance training centre for Thai and regional technical staff.
“This is a major milestone in our long and mutually beneficial relationship with THAI that dates all the way back to our earliest days at Airbus when THAI became one of our first customers in the 1970s,” Brégier said. “With the fleet in the region set to almost triple to over 15,000 aircraft over the next 20 years, this project represents a sound opportunity for Thailand to develop its footprint in the aerospace sector.
“We predict fleets operated by Asia-Pacific carriers will more than double in size in the next 20 years, from around 6,000 to more than 15,000 aircraft. All these aircraft will need to be serviced on a regular basis, representing a huge business proposition. In fact, we estimate the value of the MRO sector in this region alone will stand at around US$640 billion over the next decades
“THAI has been studying the development of a new MRO business with several potential partners and is pleased to reach this initial agreement with Airbus,” interim THAI president, Sangsingkeo said. The Thai government has prioritised aerospace and MRO sector as key industries in its ‘Thailand 4.0’ economic reform and innovation drive.In recent years, Airbus has established MRO joint ventures with China Airlines, Singapore Airlines and Etihad Airways.
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