ST Engineering and SF Airlines plan Hubei MRO facility

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ST Engineering’s Commercial Aerospace business and SF Airlines – a cargo carrier affiliated to SF Express – are to set up a commercial airframe maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) joint venture in China’s Hubei province.

The partnership, which remains subject to regulatory approvals, will operate a greenfield facility at Ezhou Huahu Airport, Hubei’s designated international logistics hub airport.

The facility will serve both Shenzen-headquartered SF Airlines and other carriers operating in the region, and is expected to open in 2025.

Noting that MRO demand in China and the Asia Pacific region is forecast to increase at a compound annual growth rate of 3-7 percent over the next decade according to industry forecasts, ST Engineering said the collaboration with SF Airlines will allow the Singapore-based firm to capture new opportunities in a high-growth region.

ST Engineering Commercial Aerospace president Jeffrey Lam said: “This is an exciting development for us given that China and the Asia Pacific region are key markets for ST Engineering’s Commercial Aerospace business.

“With the strengthening of our commercial aerospace network in China, we will be able to better meet the growing needs of airlines in the region, providing them the capacity and flexibility that come with greater choice of locations.”

SF Airlines chairman Li Sheng added: “The establishment of the MRO joint venture with ST Engineering, which is the largest airframe MRO provider in the world with over 45 years of experience in the industry, will make up for our airframe maintenance capability.

“Given the huge aircraft maintenance market in Ezhou hub, sincere co-operation with ST Engineering and strong support from the government, I have full confidence in the development of the joint venture.”

ST Engineering already operates airframe MRO facilities at Guangzhou Baiyun International Airport and Shanghai Pudong International Airport, as well as an engine MRO facility in Xiamen.

The company will have a 60% stake in the Ezhou joint venture, with SF Airlines holding the remaining 40%.

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