Exail.comThai Aviation Industries (TAI) and NZAero have sign an agreement for the exclusive supply of parts and to expand TAI’s MRO capability for the service and repair of government aircraft in Thailand.

Stephen Burrows, CEO of NZAero, says Thailand’s government has launched plans to create a world-class aviation hub for the Asia-Pacific region. He says Thailand has the second-largest economy in ASEAN and an annual defence budget of over $10 billion. “The new multi-year agreement signed between Thai Aviation Industries Co., Ltd and NZAero is set to triple the value of parts and maintenance exports to that market and help strengthen our relationship so that as their existing fleets are phased out, our new utility aircraft are seen as a viable replacement. The deal will see NZAero supply a range of over 800 parts for Thailand’s CT4 Airtrainer fleet, for use in military training operations. Other Kiwi aviation repair firms will also benefit from regular maintenance contracts to overhaul engines. A single-engine could cost up to $100,000 to overhaul and Thailand has two dozen of these aircraft in use,” he says.

Burrows says while New Zealand has a 50-year history as an aviation supplier to Thailand – with their air force having purchased 72 New Zealand-made aircraft and millions of dollars of parts, this is the first time an exclusive parts and service agreement has been formalised in this way. He says the opportunity to grow the existing supply relationship between New Zealand and Thailand will represent a multi-million dollar boost to the sector’s export earnings and could see the creation of dozens more jobs and significant expansion of the local industry.

Burrows says defence spending in Southeast Asia is expected to rise by billions of dollars in the coming years and New Zealand-designed aeronautical technology has a growing role to play in supporting the military-led humanitarian needs of its regional partners – as well as helping to address the impact of climate change.

Burrows says they will also look to meet with defence force decision-makers and private aviation operators in Singapore and the Philippines. “The Philippines is set to increase their annual defence budget by over 50% to modernise their military in the next five years, similarly Singapore’s increase in defence spending in the coming year will be highest in over a quarter of a century. The mission’s timing to these countries is well aligned with New Zealand export objectives and provides a tangible opportunity to grow our aeronautical manufacturing capacity,” he says.


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