Langkawi, 16 May 2017 – Recently, ASEANflyer.com had a chance to talk with David Jones who is General Manager for RUAG Aviation Malaysia who told us that RUAG has invested to set up RUAG Aviation Malaysia Sdn Bhd to strengthen its presence in Malaysia and South East Asia. The new company is 65 per cent invested by RUAG and 35 per cent by local investment.
Mr Jones told us the reasons to choose Malaysia as its base in South East Asia that “Ruag found that there are tremendous synergy in what Swiss Air Force operates which is prime market of RUAG and what are in Malaysia Air Force. RUAG also sees opportunities in civil market to support MRO services for components of regional turboprop aircraft up to size of ATR72 and also helicopters. This is a new market for us and RUAG started in conservative way.”
RUAG also wants to explore more in the new market like Myanmar, Laos and Cambodia. “We use onion ring strategy. We started up in Malaysia and we will look to near neighboring countries like Indonesia and Thailand. And we will go to next market that need to explore well. We will explore Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar. After that if it is successful we will explore Cambodia and Laos.” Mr Jones said.
RUAG started with a repair shop in Malaysia since September 2016 before continuing to next market like Indonesia and Thailand. “RUAG wants to offer good quality service, very good turnaround time, competitive pricing, good customer support and strong work with large customers. We believe we can offer what customer receive in Europe or United States here in the region” Mr Jones added.
For government sector, RUAG would not likely to compete with existing companies who support air force or government aircraft but aims to work with and support them. But for civil sector which is larger, RUAG sees more opportunities as most of MRO services for components currently do oversea. “Oil and gas sectors, now the market is a bit flat as the oil price low but actually it’s a growing market with a large number of helicopters in the region. There more than 160 Leonardo 139 helicopters in the region for oil and gas sector operates more than 1000 hours per year which is quite significant number. Some of components work need to send back to Europe so this is opportunities.” Mr Jones gave us an example.
Now, those opertorts can send some components to RUAG in Malaysia. The initial product line RUAG in Malaysia will support are static generator and lighting product. RUAG will expand to service other products at its base in Subang.
RUAG also sees opportunities for its Dornier 228 to serves as surveillance aircraft for navy or maritime patrol sector or regional commuter airliner to connect to small town or particular destinations like small resorts islands or remote area with small landing strip even on the unpaved runway. As tourism industry grow in the region, RUAG sees that there will be market opportunity. Dornier 228 is competitive not even for the performance to land on short runway like 700 meter minimum, the aircraft also equipped with air conditioning and toilet.