AirAsia Berhad, a Malaysian low-cost carrier, has announced the formation of an engineering service entity Asia Digital Engineering (ADE). The MRO company will be a newly formed and wholly-owned subsidiary of AirAsia.

ADE will be based in Sepang, Malaysia, where it will provide maintenance and engineering support, along with the latest technologies in data analytics, machine learning and artificial intelligence.

The project is a significant strategic move for the company, considering that the airline group operates an all-Airbus fleet of 281 aircraft. At the same time, Malaysia’s government has also reacted favorably to AirAsia’s idea.

“The formation of Asia Digital Engineering as a regional MRO service provider by AirAsia bodes well with the National Transport policy, as the government seeks to facilitate the growth of all aviation support services to enhance Malaysia’s competitiveness in air cargo operation,” Malaysia’s Minister of Transport Dr. Wee Ka Siong said.

AirAsia would also be looking at the expansion of its MRO service for other regional airlines in the future.

“Asia Digital Engineering expands our existing expertise in aircraft engineering and is well positioned to become Asia’s leading data and technology-driven Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service provider for all commercial airlines in the region, starting with the AirAsia group of airlines, and potentially for other commercial airlines in the near future also,” AirAsia Group’s CEO Tan Sri Tony Fernandes said in a statement on September 9, 2020. 

The carrier plans to consolidate all of its standalone engineers and MRO assets into a centralized technical support service under the ADE flag.

With ADE in place, AirAsia expects to reduce its overall maintenance costs for its airlines by 10%.