SAE Gone Foreign

SAE hangar at Sepang.

SHAH ALAM: Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE) the maintenance provider for RMAF fleet of four A400Ms has been fully acquired by Airbus it was announced on Oct. 12, 2017.

RMAF EC-725 fleet is maintained by BHIC Aeroservices Sdn Bhd, BHICAS is a joint venture between BHIC’s subsidiary BHIC Defence Technologies Sdn Bhd, Prestige Pillar Sdn Bhd and Airbus Helicopters Malaysia Sdn Bhd.

The release.

Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), an MRO centre based in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia, partially owned by Airbus since 2011, has become a fully owned Airbus subsidiary, following the acquisition by Airbus of its remaining shares.

With this acquisition, SAE becomes an integral part of the Airbus Customer Services network and is set to represent a key element of Services by Airbus’ growth strategy in the dynamic Asia Pacific market.

“Since its creation in 2007, SAE has established a strong reputation in the MRO market for on-time and reliable service,” said Laurent Martinez, Head of Services by Airbus. “Our ambition is for SAE to be a leading MRO in the region by becoming an innovation flagship for servicing Airbus commercial aircraft.”

As recently as September 2017, SAE celebrated the opening of a second hangar to deal with increasing demand. The MRO now has a combined floor area of some 50,000 square metres. The first hangar can accommodate up to six single-aisle aircraft or two widebody aircraft, while the second hangar can accommodate two A320 aircraft at any time for major maintenance checks. It also features Malaysia’s first eco-friendly closed-door dedicated paint bay, as well as state-of-the-art workshops for the repair and overhaul of a wide range of aircraft components, including hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

In addition to its commercial aircraft activities, SAE provides spare parts and technical support services to the Royal Malaysian Air Force’s fleet of A400M military airlifters. The facility also houses a major regional inventory of spare parts for Airbus single-aisle and wide-body aircraft for airlines that have selected the Airbus Flight Hour Services (FHS) total support package for their fleets.

SAE employs some 500 people. Its customers include the AirAsia Group, Cebu Pacific, Indigo, Jetstar Asia, Scoot, Malindo Air, MASWings, and VietJet Air.

Apart from SAE, Airbus Customer Services already has a strong footprint in the region – particularly in Singapore, Thailand and Malaysia. In Singapore, Airbus’ Customer Services Asia Pacific base includes: FHS-TSP; Flight Ops Support; the Airbus Asia Training Centre (AATC) joint venture with Singapore Airlines; HMS Services MRO joint venture with SIAEC; and the regional Service Centre for Airbus spare parts subsidiary Satair Group. Meanwhile in Thailand, Bangkok, Airbus hosts Asia Pacific Airbus Flight Operation Services. In Malaysia, customers benefit from the Airbus Malaysia Customer Services for Engineering Support, FHS Customer Order Desk and FHS Supplier Management – located in Kuala Lumpur.

M54-04 landing after the 2017 National Day flypast.

I am trying to get an official statement from the Defence Ministry on the implications of the ownership of SAE by Airbus. As stated above, SAE provides spare part and technical support services for the A400Ms. The contract was initially signed in 2015 and was renewed for another two years at LIMA 2017.

An Airbus aircraft undergoing maintenance at SAE.

As the A400M program remained at the infancy, it is likely that Airbus will want to continue with the current arrangement for the next few years. For the record all of the Armed Forces assets are maintained by local companies or joint ventures of local companies with foreign firms like the Boustead-DCNS Sdn Bhd ISS contract for the Scorpene submarines.

— Malaysian Defence

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About Marhalim Abas 2200 Articles
Shah Alam


  1. Marhalim,
    Just a tip. Airbus Malaysia is one of the very few in the world that has a Malaysian CEO and has plans to become fully Malaysian managed company within a decades.

    I am not saying anything is wrong.

  2. Airbus malaysia – malaysian ceo = that is pretty normal for a foreign company operating in malaysia

    But if say –

    Airbus germany – malaysian ceo = that is worth to be amazed of.

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