) has announced plans to extend its industrial presence in Malaysia with three new initiatives.
These include: the expansion of Airbus’s wholly owned maintenance facility, Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE); the establishment of the Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative; and increased participation in the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC).
These projects are covered by a Memorandum of Agreement (MOA) signed in Kuala Lumpur by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and AirAsia Group executive chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun.
Mr Faury said: “These initiatives will significantly enhance our presence in Malaysia, which is one of our most important markets in Asia.
"They will strengthen further our win-win partnerships with Malaysia, contribute to the development of the Malaysian aerospace sector and enable Airbus to benefit from the competencies and skills available in the country.”
The expansion of SAE will include the construction of a new hangar capable of accommodating four single-aisle or two wide-body aircraft for heavy checks, as well as the addition of new paint and component repair shops.
Under the Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative, Airbus will work with ‘local stakeholders’ to develop a master plan, then select and perform dedicated projects to enhance the competitiveness of the Malaysian aerospace sector through the application of new digital technologies.
The initiative will also contribute to “the alignment of Malaysian industrial partners with new processes and systems being introduced by Airbus across its manufacturing and supply chain”.
Meanwhile, building on its position as a founding member of AMIC, the agreement will see Airbus appoint an Innovation Technical Director to support the non-profit organisation and increase its funding for joint research programmes.
These will include research at AMIC into the potential production of alternative and sustainable aviation biofuels in Malaysia.
Airbus is the largest international partner for the Malaysian aerospace industry, with its sourcing and services businesses in the country now valued at some $400 million per year for the local economy.
The company’s activities currently sustain employment for over 4,000 Malaysians in the country’s fast-growing aviation sector.
Malaysian suppliers are involved in a wide range of Airbus programmes, producing components and structures for the A320 Family, A330neo, A350 XWB, A380 and A400M.