On the back of significant sales at the Singapore Airshow, Airbus is investing serious money back into the Asian region with a swathe of support and infrastructure deals valued at some $70-$80 million.
“Singapore is a key strategic market for Airbus, located at the heart of the fastest-growing market for commercial aviation,” Airbus Group CFO Harald Wilhelm said, adding that it is “natural that we continue to develop our presence in this key region to be even closer to our customers”—a view that is borne out by the manufacturer’s recent investment announcements.
The company has flagged three major projects recently, including a new pilot training establishment, a new MRO spares depot, and a new finance center to assist with the commercial side of its business.
The pilot training center, a joint venture between Airbus and Singapore Airlines (SIA), will be called Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC).
Airbus will pump $44 million into the venture, with SIA contributing the remainder.
Due to start operation in the fourth quarter, AATC will train A320, A330, A340, A350 and A380 pilots. Initial operations will be at the SIA Training Centre near Changi Airport; it will eventually move to a purpose-built facility at Seletar Aerospace Park once construction is finished.
On the MRO support front, Airbus and subsidiary Satair Group last week completed the merger of their new parts support and distribution facility, the Satair Airbus Singapore Centre (SASC) at Seletar Aerospace Park in Singapore.
The new Boustead-built $26 million center, which has been awarded a Green Mark Gold environmental certificate, will offer 16,700 sq m of integrated spares and “nose-to-tail” parts regional distribution, Airbus said.
Satair Group CEO Mikkel Bardram said the new SASC site “paves the way for our future plans of rapid growth and increased local presence in the Asia-Pacific region.” Bardram noted the new parts center will help act as a “new pivot” for the Asia-Pacific market—one which both Boeing and Airbus see as worth.
And lastly, Airbus announced the formation of a new financial hub in Singapore, which will act as part of a strategy to “support the financial business activities of all Airbus Group entities in Singapore and the Association of Southeast Asian Nations [ASEAN] countries.”
In addition, Wilhelm said the company will use the financial hub to help build business partnerships covering R&T, material management and supply chain development as well as straight financial deals.
The hub, with its dedicated Airbus financial team, “will certainly help us establish a sustainable relationship with our financial stakeholders in the region,” Wilhelm added. “And there is upside potential for more.”