KUALA LUMPUR, 30 August 2019 - AirAsia today signed a memorandum of agreement to support the development of the Malaysian aerospace industry.

As part of the deal, Airbus will expand its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) presence in Malaysia and establish the Airbus Malaysia Digital Initiative to enhance the competitiveness of the local aerospace sector through the application of new digital technologies, in line with the government’s vision to make Malaysia a regional aerospace hub.

Airbus will also boost its commitment to the Aerospace Malaysia Innovation Centre (AMIC) - of which it is a founding member - by appointing an Innovation Technical Director and increasing its funding for joint research programmes, including into the production of sustainable aviation biofuels in Malaysia.

The memorandum of agreement was signed by Airbus CEO Guillaume Faury and Datuk Kamarudin Meranun, Executive Chairman of AirAsia Group Berhad.

The signing ceremony was witnessed by Tun Dr Mahathir Mohamad, the Prime Minister of Malaysia. Also present was AirAsia Group CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes.

Airbus is the largest international partner for the Malaysian aerospace industry. Its sourcing and services businesses in the country are now valued at some US$400 million per annum for the local economy, a figure expected to rise to more than US$550 million every year with these new initiatives.

AirAsia Group Executive Chairman Datuk Kamarudin Meranun ​said, “This is a significant day for the future of aviation in Malaysia. Airbus’s commitment to investing to expand its industrial presence here will deliver significant benefits to the economy, through job creation and by transforming industry best practice. By ensuring Malaysia remains at the cutting edge of global aerospace developments, we will be able to future proof the local industry and guarantee our future competitiveness.”

Commenting on AMIC, Datuk Kamarudin said, “As a company that prides itself on sustainability, AirAsia continues to lead the way in driving sustainable operations and tourism. Not only do we invest heavily in new, more fuel-efficient aircraft, we have also begun looking into alternative jet fuel solutions.”

He added: “I would like to thank Airbus for their continued support of our airline and for the contribution they make to our local economy through funding and developing the Malaysian aerospace industry.”