Mubadala is to focus on propulsion as part of a revamp of the Abu Dhabi investment group’s maintenance, repair and overhaul activities, that will see it build a new engine shop for the General Electric GEnx and Rolls-Royce Trent XWB in Al Ain
Although airframe and component work will remain part of the portfolio of its two main commercial MRO brands – Abu Dhabi Aircraft Technologies and Zurich-based SR Technics – “engine MRO will be for the next five years the core of what we do from an MRO point of view,” says Homaid Al Shemmari, chief executive of Mubadala’s aerospace and engineering services division.
Al Shemmari says a previous emphasis on integrating the two MRO units was being stepped back with ADAT and SR Technics now largely concentrating on their own markets – the Middle East and Asia in the case of ADAT, and Europe, Russia and North America for SR Technics. Both businesses will now be run by their own chief executives rather than under a joint management. “We are moving back to a regional management play,” says Al Shemmari.
SR Technics will also concentrate on “high-end” component repair. “Their skills in that area are very advanced,” he says. “Over time, however, we will try to transfer some of that competence to the Middle East.” ADAT will also continue its competence in existing engine programmes, including the IAE V2500 that powers the Airbus A320 family and the A330’s Trent 700.
Narrowbody airframe work in Europe will increasingly use SR Technics’ Malta facility, where labour costs are much lower than Switzerland, says Al Shemmari. ADAT’s complex at Abu Dhabi International, which has a purpose-built three-bay Airbus A380 hangar, will try to secure more airframe work from operators of the superjumbo, which will shortly include UAE flag-carier Etihad.
Mubadala’s strategy is to create an Abu Dhabi aerospace industry, based on aerostructures and aero-engine parts manufacturing, MRO and component leasing, as well as providing careers for Emirati citizens. At November’s Dubai air show, Mubadala said it secured $11.8 billion worth of work packages from Airbus, Boeing, GE and Rolls-Royce, as well as the United Arab Emirates armed forces.
Its aerostructures subsidiary Strata in Al Ain is a tier one supplier to Airbus, manufacturing composite flap track fairings for the A330 and A380, as well as wing spoilers and ailerons for the A330.
Mubadala has also worked with fellow Abu Dhabi government company Tawazun Precision Industries on the manufacture of metalic components for the A320 family and A330.