Airbus and Thai Airways signed an agreement on June 22, 2018, to establish joint venture maintenance and overhaul (MRO) facility at U-Tapao International Airport near Bangkok.

The MRO will offer heavy maintenance and line services for all widebody aircraft types. The facility will feature digital technologies to analyse aircraft maintenance data and inspection techniques like the use of drones to monitor aircraft airframes, according to Airbus. The MRO complex will have specialised repair shops, including for composite structures, as well as a maintenance training centre for technical personnel from Thailand and overseas.

“We are pleased to enter into this major agreement with THAI,” Guillaume Faury, President Airbus Commercial Aircraft is quoted saying in a statement. “This will further strengthen the long-term partnership between our two companies and also contribute to the success of Thailand’s new eastern economic zone. With the fleet of widebody aircraft in the Asia-Pacific region set to triple to around 4,800 aircraft over the next 20 years, the project represents a sound business opportunity for both our companies.”

The U-Tapao International Airport is located within Thailand’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC), which, in turn, is part of the Thai government’s Thailand 4.0 policy, designed to develop innovative technology-based manufacturing and services in the country.