AirAsia Establishes New Subsidiary For MRO Services

AirAsia A320
Credit: AirAsia

AirAsia has restructured its engineering operations into a wholly owned subsidiary, which will provide MRO services to the group’s airlines and also third-party customers.

The new unit will be called Asia Digital Engineering Sdn Bhd (ADE), headed by CEO Mahesh Kumar. AirAsia has a strong track record of separating various parts of its business into standalone entities or subsidiaries, in some cases attracting outside investment.

“All AirAsia engineers and MRO assets will be consolidated to provide a centralized technical support service for our fleet of aircraft and potentially for other commercial airlines in the near future also,” AirAsia Group CEO Tony Fernandes said. ADE will draw on the group’s extensive experience in maintaining a fleet of over 250 Airbus A320 and A330 aircraft, he added.

The ADE subsidiary aims to provide line maintenance, engineering support, component and warehouse services, and “digital and innovation services” for the carriers in the AirAsia group and eventually other airlines in the region.

ADE will be “embracing the future by leveraging the latest technologies in automation, big data analytics, predictive maintenance, machine learning and artificial intelligence to effectively increase productivity and efficiency,” AirAsia said. The unit is targeting a 10% reduction in maintenance costs.

The new business unit has received the aircraft maintenance organization (AMO) approval by the Civil Aviation Authority of Malaysia, AirAsia said. The formation of ADE as a regional MRO provider aligns with the country’s national transport policy, Malaysia’s transport minister Wee Ka Siong said.

Adrian Schofield

Adrian is a senior air transport editor for Aviation Week, based in New Zealand. He covers commercial aviation in the Asia-Pacific region.