AirAsia, Jetstar lobbying OEMs to do more in Asia

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AirAsia and Qantas Airways' low-cost carrier Jetstar are working together to lobby original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) to establish more operations in Asia.

The two low-cost carriers formed an alliance last year and have been going in together, to speak with OEMs, in an effort to secure better deals, says Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan.

He says the two carriers have been pushing, for example, Nacelle manufacturers to establish a plant in Asia so that AirAsia, Jetstar and other Asian carriers can avoid having to send engine nacelles to Europe or North America to be worked on. AirAsia's fleet of Airbus A320s are powered by CFM International engines, so it is a customer of Nexcelle.

Having a nacelle plant in Asia would be a lot more efficient, says Buchanan.

He also says the carriers used their combined buying power recently to secure a better deal on the purchase of ground power units.

But Buchanan adds the main impetus behind the alliance is to ensure that AirAsia and Jetstar have a greater say in the development of Airbus and Boeing's future narrowbody aircraft.