AAR and SAAT create venture to lead MRO across Africa
AAR has built on its major plans for Africa by inking an agreement to launch a joint venture with the maintenance division of South African Airways (SAA).
PICTURED: At today's signing, AAR boss David Storch (left) with the US Department of Commerce’s Marcus Jadotte and SAAT chief executive Musa Zwane
South African Airways Technical (SAAT) said the agreement is as an opportunity to expand its reach across Africa while bringing greater efficiency to SAA’s fleet. “South Africa represents a growing market and a real opportunity to expand our MRO capabilities,” AAR chief executive David Storch said.
SAAT’s chief executive Musa Zwane said: “This partnership ensures we expand on the African continent, but also to other countries”.
Storch and Zwane, were flanked by assistant secretary of the US Department of Commerce, Marcus Jadotte, to sign a memorandum of understanding at the Paris Air Show today.
Executives expect the partnership to launch around September.
"We chose AAR to support us as we strengthen and grow our world-class facility because of their experience and expertise in this area," said Zwane. "We are excited to develop a joint venture that will allow us to reduce maintenance costs, increase fleet readiness levels for our valued customers, and ultimately expand and serve West and Central Africa."
AAR also will support expansion of SAAT's component repair capabilities, including landing gear, and potentially support a new MRO facility in West and Central Africa to meet growing regional travel in sub-Saharan Africa and
increasing international travel to the continent.
As part of an effort to help US companies do more business in Africa, the US government helped AAR navigate South Africa’s business, political and cultural environment, Storch said.
Under the deal, AAR will analyse SAAT’s MRO and warehouse operations, provide technical assistance and help SAAT expand its MRO component work, including work on landing gears.
The agreement will help SAAT reduce costs and secure new MRO customers, including other airlines in Africa and beyond, says Zwane.
Neither side would discuss the financial value of the agreement.
"Africa is home to 6 of the top 10 fastest-growing countries in the world,and U.S. exports to sub-Saharan Africa now top $21 billion a year. We help businesses like AAR tap into those markets," said Jadotte. "We couldn't be more pleased to have AAR and South African Airways Technical team up and go after opportunities in Africa."
In addition to being the largest independent MRO in the United States, AAR's 1MRO Network also includes a component repair shop in Amsterdam and a landing gear overhaul facility in Malaysia.
AAR's global network of warehouses servicing customers' supply chain needs are located in Chicago, Singapore, Amsterdam and Hannover, Germany, with anew hub in Brussels now serving Europe, the Middle East and Africa, including a power-by-the hour rotable support contract for Kenya Airways' 737NG fleet.