While the one-year-old company is seen as a new player in the MRO industry, Kumar tells us, it has the experience of supporting an airline as the engineering arm of its 20-year old low-cost carrier parent.

Transitioning AirAsia’s engineering arm into ADE has resulted in the centralisation of the engineering team, materiel and people into a single company, allowing ADE to optimise resources and assets, accelerate cost reductions, and raise service quality through digitalisation.

Prior to ADE’s establishment, Kumar says AirAsia was previously more focused on line maintenance than on base maintenance, outsourcing that maintenance work to external parties. Following the COVID-19 outbreak, AirAsia studied the possibility of further reducing costs by bringing maintenance in-house and having its own component workshop. 

He adds while AirAsia Group’s fleet size provided a large volume of work to outsourced MRO partners, these companies would have generated a profit margin from the contracts — which can now be retained within the group.

There are also cultural and organisational benefits. As an AirAsia Group subsidiary, Kumar says ADE has the AirAsia DNA which he describes as “low cost”, “quick turnaround time,” and “best quality”. The former AirAsia engineering team that are now working at ADE were also able to “aggressively” reduce their maintenance cost, while ADE has been able to implement digital initiatives into its business in areas such as predictive maintenance, while simultaneously optimising processes and cutting aircraft turnaround times during maintenance. Read more