THAI and Airbus Sign Cooperation Agreement
Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI) and Airbus recently held a signing ceremony for a cooperation agreement to assess Maintenance, Repair, and Operations (MRO) Business Opportunities at U-Tapao Airport, enabling an MRO center for the entire Asia Pacific region.
Mrs. Usanee Sangsingkeo, Acting President, Thai Airways International Public Company Limited (THAI), said that “the U-Tapao Airport Development Project is one of several important Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) Development Projects and is a vitally important project for Thailand. This signing ceremony reflects a long-standing and strong partnership between THAI and Airbus in developing the MRO Development Project at U-Tapao in support of the Government’s EEC Development Project. It also reflects the progress and effectiveness of the project following the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) on March 8, 2017, whereby feasibility study results proved satisfactory for both companies.”
Mr. Jean-Francois Laval, Executive Vice President, Customer Affairs Asia, Airbus, said that, “Airbus is proud to be part of this development in the frame of the Eastern Economic Corridor which will offer great business opportunities for many aviation partner companies and suppliers. This Cooperation Agreement is a key milestone on the way to the establishment of a state of the art MRO campus in U-Tapao. Beyond the partnership between our two great companies, today’s announcement also represents a strategic development for Thailand’s exciting plan to strengthen its presence in the aerospace industry. It will be a cornerstone of the Eastern Economic Corridor vision. During the past months, teams at THAI and Airbus have studied the business case for the MRO hub at U-Tapao and are convinced that the geographic location, coupled with the skills in the country and the market potential in the region will bring great benefits for many years to come. It is predicted that the fleets operated by carriers in Asia and the Pacific will more than double in size over the next 20 years, from around 6,100 to almost 17,000 aircraft. Airbus estimates the value of maintenance and overhaul sector in this region alone will stand at around USD 664 billion over the next decade.”
As of next year, THAI says they will start maintaining the Airbus A380 with the support of Airbus teams in U-Tapao. Early next decade, new hangar facilities will be built along with two runways. Besides the MRO hub, where wide-body aircraft of all types will be maintained, a mechanic engineering school will be built in cooperation between the Civil Aviation Training Center (CATC), THAI, and Airbus. In order to build up technology transfer into this region, a composite component repair center will be built and this will prove further beneficial to Thailand’s vertical development in the aerospace sector.