KUALA LUMPUR: Malaysia is a key strategic market in South East Asia for Airbus, with the European multinational airframe producer contributing US$400 million (RM1.57 billion) annually to the local economy.
The outsourcing by Airbus is mainly from Malaysia’s aerospace sector, comprising commercial and defence parts and services, its senior communication manager for Asia Pacific Siva Govindasamy said.
“Airbus supports over 4,000 jobs for Malaysians with local partnerships to produce aircraft parts and provide maintenance repair and overhaul (MRO) services for commercial, aircraft, engines and components,” he told NST Business in an interview recently.
Airbus had established strategic partnerships with local partners as early as 1978, when Malaysia Airlines ordered the original A300B4.
Since then, Airbus has become the leading supplier of civil aircraft to Malaysia with over 230 aircraft in service with airlines and another 480 on order for future delivery.
Siva said Malaysia is one of Airbus’ main industrial partners in Asia, the fourth largest partner after China, India and Korea, with suppliers working on various aircraft programmes.
“Every Airbus aircraft flying across the globe today has parts produced in Malaysia,” he said, adding that Composites Technology Research Malaysia (CTRM) is one of the world’s top five suppliers of composite structures to Airbus.
CTRM provides a complete range of manufacturing expertise including manufacture of wing components for the A320 Family, A350 XWB and A380, and nacelles for the A350 XWB.
“SME Aerospace is one of the Airbus’ earliest industrial partners in Malaysia. Since 1998, it has been manufacturing wing components for the A320 Family, the A330 family, the A380 and the A350 XWB as well as manufactures parts for Airbus Helicopters,” he added.
Another Airbus key partner is Spirit Aerosystems Malaysia, which assembles various wing components for the A320 family and widebody A350 XWB.
On the design and analysis side, Strand Aerospace Malaysia is engaged in engineering services carrying out some of the design and certification analysis work for the A380 and A350 XWB aircraft structures.
Siva said Malaysia also has the capability to grow its defence market, citing that there are requirements for both military fixed wing aircraft and helicopters.
“Airbus offers a wide-range of products comprising defence, fixed-wing aircraft (C295) and helicopters (H225) and (H175) that can meet Malaysia’s requirement,” he said.
Siva said Airbus is currently promoting its C295, maritime patrol aircraft (MPA) and light-twin civil rotorcraft (H135) helicopters to the Royal Malaysian Air Force (RMAF) for Malaysia’s surveillance requirements.
“The C295 platform was introduced in 2001, built for military missions including anti-submarine warfare and capable of up to 11-hour endurance. The C295 is already in service in Indonesia, Philippines, Vietnam and Thailand,” he said.
The H135 helicopter, meanwhile, suits various requirements to perform multi-mission for search and rescue, emergency and medical evacuations in high-altitude and hot-weather conditions.
Airbus has also delivered more than 1,300 H135s globally with over 300 customers operating in 60 countries.
In a recent statement, Airbus said it has finalised a contract with Malaysia’s Ministry of Defence for the provision of a wide range of support services for A400M airlifters.
The agreement, which was signed at the Defence Services Asia 2018 exhibition in Kuala Lumpur recently, extended an existing services deal between Airbus and the ministry.
Malaysia was the first export customer for the A400M and the RMAF received its fourth aircraft in 2017.
Airbus will work with the local industry to deliver these services. The agreement also covers additional spare parts and ground equipment, as well as training courses, to support A400M air-to-air refuelling operations.
In addition to the A400Ms, over 100 Airbus civil and military helicopters are in service in the Malaysia.
Airbus has also secured orders for more than 720 passenger and cargo aircraft from Malaysian customers.
Malaysian government agencies also operate Airbus satellites and its surveillance radars use to monitor coastlines and prevent illicit intrusions.
Source : https://www.nst.com.my/business/2018/05/364553/malaysia-key-market-airbus