By SUCHAT SRITAMA
TWA to service military aircraft, plan for maintenance hub
Transworld Aviation (TWA), a supplier of aircraft parts and service solutions based in Dubai, has set up business in Thailand to service military aircraft and aims to build a regional aircraft-maintenance centre in the Kingdom within five years.
It is the first aircraft-parts supplier from the Middle East to expand into Southeast Asia, after establishing branches in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, South Africa, Tanzania and the United States.
TWA chairman Abdullah Al Sulaimani said the joint venture TWA Thailand was established in Bangkok last year to prepare some fundamentals including staff recruitment and establishing a business network. The company plans to begin talks with additional target customers next year.
Chaimongkol Sukonthamat, a local investor and Thai-American national, holds 51 per cent of the JV while TWA has the remaining 49 per cent.
Sulaimani said Thailand had become an emerging market for aircraft maintenance not only for the military, small aircraft and private jets but also for commercial planes.
The group aims to develop Thailand as a new maintenance and after sales-service base. Next year, it will approach more military and other government bodies for aircraft maintenance, engine service, and mechanical upgrades, as well as to offering new technology for small aircraft to improve their efficiency.
“Within five years, we should have a big maintenance centre in Southeast Asia. Our strength is providing OEM [original equipment manufacturing] parts and expertise. We [have stocks] that can be delivered to customers within 48 hours,” he said.
An aviation expert said the TWA group aimed at income of Bt1 billion in 2015 from the Thai centre, the first year of operation. That figure is expected to jump in 2016.Southeast Asia has aircraft-maintenance centres in Singapore and Malaysia. In Thailand, Thai Aviation Industries maintains the government’s aircraft, while Thai Airways International does its own work. Airbus recently announced that it would set up Flight Operations Services in Thailand to produce standard travel manuals and documentation for aviation.
TWA was established in Britain and moved to Jebel Ali Free Zone in Dubai in 1994. It has become the leading distributor of aircraft parts, consumables and chemicals, along with repair, modification and overhaul management.