TP Aerospace announced an ambitious new growth plan this year. What does the plan entail?
Green Sunrise is the name of our growth strategy that we launched in the summer of 2018. The gist of the strategy is to open 10 new MRO shops and one representative sales office before the end of 2020.
What was behind the decision to invest in this expansion?
Our business builds on a high level of flexibility and reliability towards our customers, and to keep up with market demands, we had to make a decision to expand our global presence to be closer to our customers and continue to deliver a high-quality service. And of course, we have always considered ourselves very ambitious and a bit aggressive, so I think this move was expected from us.
The majority of these new locations will be in the Asia-Pacific region. What are the specific growth plans there?
In APAC, we are already setting up the first shop in Malaysia, which we expect to be up and running within a few months. This shop is what we define as a small size MRO which will have repair capabilities on limited part numbers, designed to service specific customers nearby.
Additionally, we plan to set up shops in Indonesia and Thailand, as well as two other places in the region. Some of these will be small-size MROs similar to Malaysia, while others will be mid-size and also have overhaul capabilities on selected part numbers. Also, a sales representative office and warehouse are being established in China.
All facilities will be designed to serve those current and potential program customers who are located in close proximity to the shops, while this will of course also provide a big advantage to our loyal trading customers.
Will new staff be added to meet the needs of these new locations?
We expect that with Green Sunrise, we will add another 200 employees, thus bringing our total headcount to almost 500. A lot of these new colleagues will of course be located at our new facilities around the world, but we will also add additional support to our global functions, such as Finance, Program Management, IT, etc. to ensure the wheels keep running smoothly. Many of these will naturally be hired at our head office, while some are also expected to be added at our regional centers of excellence in Singapore and Orlando.
TP Aerospace recently announced plans to open a new facility near East Midlands Airport in the UK. What is the progress on this facility so far?
Our new UK facility is the first facility in our Green Sunrise strategy, and we are currently looking for the team to be part of our UK adventure. The facility is expected to be in full operation in early 2019.