MRO: Malaysia Airlines is transforming itself to become competitive in the market once again

Romain Guillot in Singapore
15/11/2018 | 440 words
MRO: Malaysia Airlines is transforming itself to become competitive in the market once again
Malaysia Airlines
The restructuring of Malaysia Airlines which was launched in 2015 has had major consequences for MAS Engineering, which became MAB Engineering in October 2017. The Malaysian flag carrier's maintenance division has started a major transformation process which should enable it to become a major player in the market once again by becoming profitable and competitive by 2023.

Ahmad Luqman Bin Mohd Azmi, the Chief Operations Officer (COO) of Malaysia Airlines Berhad (MAB), feels that the maintenance activity simply cannot compete with other players in the region, on neither price nor deadline. "We were too bureaucratic and we are working on all of our processes to become more effective", he stated clearly during MRO Asia-Pacific in Singapore. He announced that this transformation is being implemented at every level, with specific attention paid to the personnel required to improve productivity. He notes that manpower planning will be synchronized with capacity required instead of capacity needed.

MAB Engineering has also launched a digitisation process (maintenance documentation, task management, etc.) with data analysis possibilities (Data mining, reporting, business intelligence capabilities). Note that MAB Engineering is currently setting up the AMOS software suite and has also redesigned its supply chain, with specific attention to improve inventory accuracy.

Ahmad Luqman Bin Mohd Azmi was keen to show us the progress that has already been made on TATs for major maintenance inspections for the airline's A380 first C3-Checks carried out in its hangar on 6th May and which lasted 74 days (75 days scheduled). The second C3-Check was carried out in 70 days and a third aircraft is currently immobilised with a target TAT of only 60 days.

MAB Engineering is also redefining its maintenance capabilities and capacities. After receiving all of its Airbus A350s, Malaysian Airlines is preparing to accommodate its first Boeing 737 MAX 8 aircraft next year. MAB's maintenance division is also working on bringing back in-house capabilities which were outsourced, setting up a facility with ATR aircraft checks to be carried out in its hangar 5 for example.

Ahmad Luqman Bin Mohd Azmi also noted that MAB Engineering's capacities have been occupied by redelivery activities for its old Boeing 777-200ER fleet. Today, MAB Engineering's hangars 5 and 6 in Sepang have seven aircraft bays (the giant hangar 6 can even accommodate two A380s at the same time) but MAB's COO is planning up to 11 aircraft bays in the future.

But Ahmad Luqman Bin Mohd Azmi also revealed that MAB Engineering was looking for a strategic partner to continue its development, particularly in component overhaul. "If we want to grow, we need to consider every business", he said.
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