Abu Dhabi / WAM
The role of cross-border partnerships in the global aviation, aerospace, defence and space sectors will come under the spotlight in Abu Dhabi this month when international leaders from all four industries meet at the Global Aerospace Summit to explore and identify future development strategies.
Hosted by Mubadala Development Company, the 2016 Summit, the third in the series, is part of the inaugural Abu Dhabi Aviation and Aerospace Week, which is being held under the patronage of His Highness Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Crown Prince of Abu Dhabi and Deputy Supreme Commander of the UAE Armed Forces, on March 7-8 at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibition Centre (ADNEC).
C-suite executives from the sectors say that with national development agendas gaining momentum, cross-border partnerships are now vital to sustaining business.
Partnership patterns and projects will be examined in two key sessions, one sponsored by Dassault Aviation, which will examine how innovative offset programmes can support local economic development while achieving business goals, and the second, sponsored by the Cytec Solvay Group, will help define how to create successful partnerships with GCC players.
Globally competitive dynamics are now driving partnership deals across the entire aviation, aerospace, defence and space segments, according to experts.
IATA’s recent economic briefing said that for airlines, partnerships that begin as simple code-share agreements are now leading to closer cooperation and integration of international services through joint ventures.
The association said that joint ventures allow airlines to gain access to otherwise unattainable valuable assets, such as slots at congested airports. Other benefits include mutual traffic feed and branding, joint purchasing and common frequent flyer programmes, stimulating additional business, sharing training facilities and joining forces on maintenance.
Etihad Airways, the national airline of the UAE, has formed an extensive network of codeshares and equity sharing partnerships to leverage global expansion.
James Hogan, Etihad’s President and Chief Executive Officer, said, “We believe that our strategy of organic expansion, codeshare partnerships, minority investments in other airlines and deep commercial agreements, have set the benchmark and form the basis of a long and sustainable future for the airline and its partners.”
The UAE and India will be key to partnership progression and that much can be taken from collaborative agreements already operating in the West, according to Boeing.
The MRO and after-market segment is also likely to see more international partnership agreements to remain competitive, according to Abu Dhabi’s management consultancy, ADA Millennium, which has forecast an era hallmarked by joint ventures, mergers and investment to address increasing demand, particularly from the Middle East.
AAR, a leader in aviation aftermarket services, was chosen by Advanced Military Maintenance Repair and Overhaul Centre, Ammroc, an Abu Dhabi-based joint venture between Mubadala Development Company, Sikorsky and Lockheed Martin, to support in the design, outfitting and integration of key areas of Ammroc’s state-of-the-art facility in Al Ain, UAE.
The new facility will be one of the world’s largest dedicated military MRO centres and an anchor tenant at the Nibras Al Ain Aerospace Park, the free-zone being jointly developed by Mubadala and Abu Dhabi Airports Company to support the establishment of a sustainable aerospace hub in Abu Dhabi.
“This partnership allows the UAE government to leverage AAR’s industry-leading MRO experience and best practices to reduce maintenance costs and increase fleet readiness levels,” said David P. Storch, CEO and Chairman of AAR CORP. “While AAR has provided customers with counsel and training in the past, this deal brings our work to the next level, and will hopefully lead to additional opportunities in the Middle East.”
Knowledge transfer is the foundation of cross-border strategies, according to US-based Alcoa, a global leader in lightweight metals technology, engineering and manufacturing. It closely partners customers to drive innovation in the aerospace supply chain.
“Through our home-grown innovation and recent aerospace investments, Alcoa has successfully built a strong leadership position in the aerospace market,” said Olivier Jarrault, Alcoa Executive Vice President and Group President, Alcoa Engineered Products and Solutions. “We combine metallurgical and engineering expertise with advanced manufacturing to solve some of our customers’ toughest challenges and help them enhance aircraft and engine
Streamline Marketing Group, which organises the summit, said that the partnership issue was incorporated into the programme at industry demand. “Members of our own Advisory Committee identified cross-border collaboration as the issue defining the aviation, aerospace, defence and space future,” explained Nick Webb, Managing Partner, SMG. “The landscape of all four sectors is changing rapidly and solutions are being sought to how they can remain competitive and play a role in national development programmes.”