Maintenance providers have continued to make moves in the Asia-Pacific market this year by forming new partnerships and signing up regional airline customers under long-term service contracts.
Never was this more evident than at last month’s Paris Air Show, which produced a plethora of agreements, as detailed by these pages, mainly centered on Singapore and Malaysia.
One of the region’s biggest players, Singapore Aircraft Engineering Company (SIAEC), was especially active--penning an engine joint venture with GE Aviation, focusing on repairs for the mature GE90 engine powering the Boeing 777 and the GE9X engine option for the 777X.
SIAEC has perhaps been the most prominent example of an Asia-Pacific company aligning with OEM and MRO partners, counting partnerships with Boeing and Airbus.
Malaysia, which has ambitions to compete with Singapore as Asia-Pacific’s dominant aerospace destination, signed a number of deals looking to enhance everything from building component maintenance sites to linking up with Airbus on technician training projects.
This year has also seen further activity in Indonesia. FL Technics of Lithuania, a company that has ramped up in capabilities and scale in the past five years, began offering heavy maintenance services in the country from January. Having been operating in Indonesia since 2014, the company has forged MRO partnerships with the likes of GMF AeroAsia.
Another country with an aviation sector tipped to boom is Vietnam, home to a population just shy of 92 million and seeing its industry benefiting from low labor costs, is also showing potential as a future regional player. In April, its largest aftermarket provider, MRO Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company (VAECO), received approval to conduct maintenance on European-registered aircraft.
Neighbouring Thailand, in the process of recertifying its airlines after its 2015 downgrade by the FAA, is also hoping to stimulate MRO growth through a number of incentives including granting new aftermarket companies eight-year tax holidays.
While projected spend for the market remains strong, with Aviation Week's Fleet and MRO Forecast calculating Asia-Pacific as a whole to amount to a $26.6 billion spend for this year alone.
Going against the overall industry grain of engine demand driving spend, the majority of this work in the region is expected to be in component maintenance (39%), followed by engine maintenance (26%) and line maintenance (20%).