Airbus has taken full control of Malaysian MRO provider Sepang Aircraft Engineering (SAE), making it a fully owned subsidiary.

The European manufacturer took a 40% stake in Kuala Lumpur International Airport-based SAE in 2011, but has now bought out the remaining 60% of the shares.

SAE now becomes an integral part of the Airbus Customer Services network; the manufacturer said SAE will be a key element of the group’s Services by Airbus organization, which is expanding its interests in the Asia-Pacific market.

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

In September, SAE marked a significant expansion in its operations with the opening of a second hangar to deal with increasing demand and now has a combined floor area of some 50,000 sq m. The original hangar can accommodate up to six single-aisle aircraft or two widebodies, while the new structure can accommodate two A320 aircraft for major maintenance checks.

The SAE site also features what the company describes as Malaysia’s first eco-friendly closed-door dedicated paint bay, as well as workshops for the repair and overhaul of a wide range of aircraft components, including hydraulic and pneumatic systems.

SAE is an EASA-approved, independent MRO service provider. It can also handle cabin refurbishments and is a major repository of spare parts for airlines that have selected the Airbus Flight Hour Services total support package.           

SAE customers include the AirAsia Group, Philippine LCC Cebu Pacific, Indian LCC IndiGo, Singapore LCC Jetstar Asia Airways, Singapore LCC Scoot, Malaysia’s Malindo Air, regional carrier MASwings, and Vietnam’s VietJet Air.

The acquisition of SAE adds to Airbus’ presence in the Asia-Pacific region. Airbus Customer Services has a major base in neighboring Singapore, while in the Thai capital Bangkok, Airbus hosts Asia Pacific Airbus Flight Operation Services.

Alan Dron