Mohamad Arif Faisal Lee Ann Shay/Aviation Week

Fast 5: Details of GMF AeroAsia’s Global Expansion Plans

Mohamad Arif Faisal, VP marketing and business development for GMF AeroAsia in Indonesia, talks with Lee Ann Shay about the MRO’s global expansion plans, which include the Middle East and other Asian locations.

What is the status of GMF AeroAsia opening a hangar in the Middle East?

We are still in discussion with a company in Dubai. The hangar is already there but there are still things that need to be resolved. We are in final discussions. The hangar could open this quarter.

Who would your customers be at this facility?

We could service our customers from the Middle East or India there, especially those needing narrowbody maintenance because flying a narrowbody from this region to Jakarta is too expensive. We are trying to get closer to our customers. 

Where would you get your workforce? The mechanic and technician labor market is quite tight in the UAE.

The demand for maintenance manpower here is very high and can be a struggle. In Indonesia, we don’t have a problem because the demand to be a mechanic is still growing. GMF AeroAsia collaborates with two universities and seven polytechnics in Indonesia. We’re lucky to still have a strong number of people who want to be a mechanic. By working in Dubai on assignment, our employees could get experience that they wouldn’t get at the base station.

Will you have any partners in the Middle East facility?

Yes, we will have one partner. The partner will provide the hangar and marketing, and we will provide the MRO expertise, manpower and tooling.

Are there other global expansions that GMF AeroAsia is considering?

We are looking at a collaboration in Australia, with an Australian partner, starting with line maintenance. If the demand is there, we could also open a base maintenance facility there, but we would need shareholder approval. The line maintenance operation should open this year.

We’ve also been asked to open MROs in Korean and Japan, which we are evaluating. Those would be collaborations, too.

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