KUALA LUMPUR: European aircraft manufacturer Airbus expects to increase its local sourcing activities and partnerships to RM2.24 billion (US$550 million) annually by 2023, up 38.3% from RM1.62 billion (US$400 million) in 2018.
This is on the back of higher production rates for the Airbus aircraft types worked on by its local suppliers, the company’s investment in its local subsidiaries and joint ventures and potential new projects currently under evaluation, Airbus’ president for Asia Pacific Jean-Marc Nasr told a media briefing today.
“We are 100% committed to growing our presence in Malaysia and we believe that the country’s aerospace industry has the potential to become one of the largest in the region,” he added.
To date, the company works with more than 12,000 suppliers worldwide that provide products and services for flying and non-flying parts.
The company’s industrial partners in Malaysia include Composites Technology Research Malaysia, SME Aerospace Sdn Bhd, Spirit Aerosystems Malaysia Sdn Bhd and SDMK Sdn Bhd.
Additionally, Nasr said the strong growth forecast for air passenger numbers in Asia Pacific going forward would also result in higher demand for aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services in the region.
Over the next 20 years, he said passenger traffic growth in Asia Pacific is anticipated to grow 5.5% annually, compared with 4.4% per annum globally.
Currently, he said the company is the biggest partner for Malaysia’s aerospace industry, while Malaysia is Airbus’ third largest market in the Asia Pacific region after China and India.
To date, he said Malaysia’s airlines have ordered more than 700 commercial aircraft from Airbus, with around 300 commercial aircraft and over 100 helicopters manufactured by the company are currently in service in the country.
Meanwhile, Nasr said Airbus aims to support up to 5,200 jobs for Malaysians by 2023, from 4,000 jobs currently, with local partnerships to produce aircraft parts and provide MRO services.
“This is testament to the high quality of work undertaken by Malaysian companies and their highly skilled workers, the country’s competitive cost base and a clear government policy backing the development of the local industry,” he added.
In 2018, Airbus generated revenues of €64 billion (RM293.7 billion) and employed a workforce of around 134,000 employees globally.