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Airbus strengthens its dedicated services activity in the Middle East

Romain Guillot in Dubai
28/11/2019 | 642 words
Airbus strengthens its dedicated services activity in the Middle East
Jazeera Airways has signed an FHS contract with Airbus at Dubai Airshow 2019. Picture © Airbus
In addition to the multiple commercial aircraft contracts signed by Airbus, the Dubai Airshow also provided the European aircraft manufacturer an ideal opportunity to showcase the full spectrum of its services offering to operators in the region.

Rémi Maillard, SVP Airbus Services, also stressed just how important this activity is for the aircraft manufacturer, with the market as a whole due to practically double in size to generate up to 4900 billion dollars in total over the next 20 years, if we combine services related to aircraft availability (Flying hour contracts, MRO, spare parts, preventive maintenance, etc.), flight operations (pilot training, flight planning, documentation, etc.) and passenger experience (cabin retrofit, connected cabin, etc.). We are in the same order of scale as the new commercial aircraft sales over the next two decades (in catalogue prices). For the Middle East region alone, services represent a potential of 515 billion dollars over the next 20 years.

Rémi Maillard also reminded everyone that Airbus inaugurated a new services centre in Dubai in September, with facilities dedicates to repairs and spare parts for cabin components and systems. As for FHS (Flight Hour Services) contracts, he also notes that this type of offering is expanding in the region. In addition, he revealed that the Kuwaiti airline Jazeera Airways signed an FHS agreement at Dubai Airshow, joining around thirty other operators who use this integrated solution, which is now available across the aircraft manufacturer's entire range of aircraft, from the A220 to the A380. "We don't offer FHS as a commodity but as a vehicle intended to generate more value for airlines", he said.

Rémi Maillard also talked about the Skywise platform which now has over 90 customers, with over 10000 aircraft which will be connected gradually. Some of the airlines in the region who have opted for the Airbus digital platform are Saudia, Flynas, Emirates, Jazeera, Etihad, Oman Air, Gulfair and Air Arabia. Rémi Maillard once again stated that he feels very confident that the objective of 100 airlines will be reached by the end of the year.

Finally, Rémi Maillard wanted to emphasise that Airbus is still committed to support the Airbus A380, in particular in a region which flies over half of the worldwide fleet. "We have the capacities to do it and we are supporting seven A380 operators with our FHS solution", he stressed. He also recalled that Airbus took part in the development of Singapore Airlines and Qantas new interiors and that HMS, its joint-venture with SIA Engineering Company (SIAEC) was fully dedicated to the A380, not forgetting the additional capacities proposed by the AMA alliance (Airbus MRO Alliance). He also observed that Airbus had just carried out a first 12-year heavy maintenance check for a Qantas A380. "This is not the sunset for the A380, we are writing the next chapter for the A380", he declared.

Airbus is strengthening the organisation of its customer services in the United Arab Emirates

The European aircraft manufacturer has also decided to group all of its customer support activities for the region under one roof in Dubai. These are "Customer Support", supplier support, engineering, quality, the aerostructures repair activity, service marketing and sales, business development, crew training and Flight Ops.

Airbus is also announcing that this new organisation will be operational from 1st January 2020 and that its staff levels will rise from 85 to 105 people in order to better serve a fleet which already exceeds a thousand aircraft with 36 operators in the Africa and Middle East region.

As Bob Lange, SVP Business Analysis & Market forecast at Airbus recalled when presenting the aircraft manufacturer's perspectives at a conference in Dubai (Airbus GMF2019-2038), the Middle East region alone will need over 3200 new commercial aircraft over the next 20 years, 1080 for replacement and 2160 intended to increase the fleet.
Romain Guillot
Chief editor
Cofounder of Journal de l'Aviation and Alertavia

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