Mubadala pushes MRO business in Asia Pacific region
Mubadala Aerospace and several of its subsidiaries are at the Singapore Airshow (Booth No. D11). Much of the emphasis for the fast-growing Middle East group is on opportunities for it to develop its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business in the Middle East. Mubadala entities Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies (ADAT) and SR Technics are at the forefront of these efforts, and they are joined here this week by sister companies Sanad Aero Solutions and Piaggio Aero Industries.
The Abu Dhabi-based group is a subsidiary of the $45 billion sovereign wealth fund, Mubadala Development Co., which was formed in 2002 to diversify the oil-rich emirate’s economy. It is here at the Singapore show to promote the burgeoning status of the United Arab Emirate’s capital as a global aviation hub and to build on major business wins in Asia over the last 12 months.
For instance, last year, Swiss-based SR Technics announced MRO deals with Asia Pacific-based carriers Cebu Pacific, Philippine Airlines and Virgin Australia. It also set up offices for operations in Australia and sales in Singapore.
“The Asia Pacific region is an important market for the Mubadala Aerospace MRO network as we work toward our goal of becoming a global market force with unique capabilities, geographic reach and scale,” said James Stewart, group CEO of the Mubadala Aerospace MRO network.
Since its formation in 2010, Sanad has built up a $250 million portfolio of aircraft spares and engines under management. It seeks to complement the MRO offerings of ADAT and SR Technics by providing inventory-reduction and sale-leaseback deals, allowing airlines to plow savings on spares financing into fleet growth. Here at the show, the group is promoting a range of services of particular interest to Asian carriers, including integrated component solutions for the Boeing 787.
Speaking at an international inventory and engine asset management forum in May, Stewart said he expected emerging market airlines to fare better in 2012. A regional gap between regions like Asia Pacific and the Middle East and the weaker European and North American markets, still buffeted by the economic crisis, is all too evident, he said.
Mubadala, which set up its aerospace arm in 2006, increased an earlier 40-percent stake in SR Technics to 70 percent in 2009. Until 1997, SR Technics had been the engineering arm of Swissair. It has recently branched out into VIP cabin interiors for widebody private aircraft.
Just in December, SR Technics announced contracts for exclusive repair cycle management (RCM) and engine maintenance with flagcarrier Philippine Airlines. The RCM agreement includes the airline’s entire Airbus fleet of 33 wide- and narrowbody aircraft, and a total of 2,000 spare parts. The engine maintenance contract covers 21 CFM56-5C engines for the carrier’s Airbus A340-330s.
Last August, the company won a contract from Virgin Australia for MRO services. Some of this work will be handled by ADAT in Abu Dhabi for completion, with component finance provided by Sanad. A first contract covered Virgin’s first two Airbus A330s and is to be extended to include at least three more by 2013. Last May, SR Technics announced a 10-year maintenance contract for Asia’s third-largest low-cost carrier, Cebu Pacific, servicing 18 CFM International CCFM56-5B engines in its A320 fleet.
Also part of the Mubadala Aerospace group are composites manufacturer Strata, which has just been awarded work on the Airbus A350XWB program, as well as the Horizon Flight Academy. Both operations are based in Al Ain.
In the defense sector, its Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Center is a joint venture with Sikorsky Aerospace and Lockheed Martin to provide support to its operators in the Middle East. And on the civil side, its Piaggio sister company makes the P.180 Avanti II twin pusherprop business aircraft and is working on plans to develop a jet.