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AVIATION | Staff Reporter, Singapore

ST Aerospace wins maintenance contract for Vietnam Airlines

The two companies will also set up a joint venture for MRO solutions.

ST Aerospace inked a memorandum of understanding (MOU) with Vietnam Airlines to set up a joint venture (JV) to provide component Maintenance, Repair & Overhaul (MRO) solutions.

According to an announcement, the two companies have also entered into a 14-year component Maintenance-By-the-Hour (MBH) contract that will support the airline’s whole fleet of 58 A321CEOs and 20 A321NEOs, including other A321s that will be delivered, in component maintenance starting from mid-2018. "Under the contract, ST Aerospace will set up an inventory base in Vietnam to provide timely services to Vietnam Airlines," ST Aerospace said.

The JV will be headquartered at Noi Bai International Airport in Ha Noi. It will start with support for a wide range of technology groups including pneumatics, hydraulics and electrical components, before potentially increasing the collaboration to include aerostructure and airframe MRO.

"The partnership will leverage Vietnam Airlines’ maintenance subsidiary, Vietnam Airlines Engineering Company (VAECO)’s existing facilities in Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City, as well as ST Aerospace’s core expertise in MRO to develop these facilities and their capabilities. The cooperation will also help Vietnam Airlines shorten the turnaround time for maintenance and repairs as the process will be conducted in Vietnam, rather than having to send it abroad as before, thus saving costs and creating higher operational efficiency," the company said.

ST Aerospace president Lim Serh Ghee said, “The robust development of the economy and a burgeoning middle class have created an ideal environment for the growth of the aviation industry in the Asia Pacific region, and Vietnam’s double-digit growth in the air travel sector is the best reflection of this. Riding on this growth, strategic partnerships with established industry participants such as Vietnam Airlines will enable us to increase our regional footprint and better penetrate high-growth markets.”

ST Aerospace's components MBH programme involves support services for a pre-determined fixed rate per hour. "This way, operators are able to keep operating costs low and also minimise fixed asset inventory holdings in terms of spares or maintenance equipment. Today, ST Aerospace provides integrated component support for a fleet of more than 600 aircraft on the MBH basis, servicing over 20 aircraft operators in Asia Pacific, Europe and the Middle East," it said.

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