AirAsia forms new engineering services arm to serve airlines in the region

-A +A

AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said ADE will expand the airline’s existing expertise in aircraft engineering and is well positioned to become Asia’s leading data and technology-driven MRO service provider for all commercial airlines in the region, starting with the AirAsia group of airlines.

KUALA LUMPUR (Sept 9): AirAsia Group Bhd has established a new wholly-owned unit which aims to be Asia’s leading provider of engineering services for AirAsia’s group of airlines and other commercial airlines.

The unit, Asia Digital Engineering Sdn Bhd (ADE), will be an avenue to earn additional income, which will contribute to the overall increase in revenue for AirAsia, the low-cost carrier said in a filing with Bursa Malaysia.

The group said ADE will operate as a centralised and independent maintenance, repair & overhaul (MRO) unit to service all of AirAsia’s group airlines and third party airlines in the region, focusing on key services such as line maintenance, workshop, engineering support, component and warehouse, as well as digital and innovation.

It added that ADE will embark on the Industry 4.0 digital transformation journey, embracing the future by leveraging on the latest technologies in automation, big data analytics, predictive maintenance, machine learning and artificial intelligence to effectively reduce maintenance costs and increase productivity and efficiency, while maintaining a high level of safety, quality and airworthiness of the fleet.

Transport Minister Datuk Seri Dr Wee Ka Siong, in a separate statement, said: “The formation of ADE as a regional MRO service provider by AirAsia bodes well with the national transport policy, as the government seeks to facilitate the growth of all aviation support services to enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in air cargo operation,”

Meanwhile, AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said ADE will expand the airline’s existing expertise in aircraft engineering and is well positioned to become Asia’s leading data and technology-driven MRO service provider for all commercial airlines in the region, starting with the AirAsia group of airlines.

“This new business division provides numerous efficiencies and will leverage off our combined 19 years of experience in operating and maintaining a large fleet of over 250 Airbus A320 and A330 family aircraft. All AirAsia engineers and MRO assets will be consolidated to provide a centralised technical support service for our fleet of aircraft, and potentially for other commercial airlines in the near future also,” he added. 

Mahesh Kumar, who has been appointed as ADE’s CEO, said: “I am honoured for the opportunity by the AirAsia management to lead this new business unit which has just received the Aircraft Maintenance Organisation (AMO) approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia (CAAM).”

“We would like to thank CAAM and other relevant authorities for believing in us, as we push the envelope in all areas of commercial aviation, which includes air transport services, passenger services and now, MRO services for airlines,” Mahesh added. 

Mahesh joined AirAsia’s Engineering Department in 2009. Prior to his appointment as ADE’s CEO, Mahesh was the head of Fleet and Technical Asset Management for AirAsia, and before that, he was the senior vice president (technical) for Asia Aviation Capital Ltd, an indirect wholly-owned subsidiary of AirAsia.

Shares of AirAsia closed 3.5 sen or 5.3% lower at 62.5 sen today, valuing the group at RM2.09 billion. Year-to-date, the counter has fallen 63% from RM1.70.

S Kanagaraju