Singapore is moving up the value chain in the maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business, thus Thailand is not really competing at the same level with Singapore.
In fact, Thailand’s expansion of its MRO business is more towards the level where Malaysia is at the moment.
To really compete with Singapore, both Malaysia and Thailand has to step-up the game, as in doing more higher value work.
Singapore has too many big names that are doing the finest jobs in the sector thus putting other regional MRO centres in a different league.
The Island republic have also done well in cementing its push in the higher end of the business, attracting foreign manufacturers to establish MRO facilities in Singapore thanks to the quality and consistency of the services it offers.
And experts will agree that for these big boys, the price to pay to be in Singapore does not impact on their business in the end.
The growth of air travel in Asia Pacific countries has created countless opportunities in the region for aerospace manufacturers, and indeed for MRO companies.
With the global fleet size anticipated to double over the next two decades, a third of worldwide aircraft deliveries will go to Asia altogether.
These are estimates by the two major aircraft manufacturers, Airbus and Boeing.
They say that by 2031, Asia Pacific’s fleet is expected to triple to about 13,500 aircrafts.
So far, it has garnered a quarter of the Asian MRO market and aside from MRO, Singapore is also seeing a growing number of aerospace design and manufacturing operations.
Thailand has a large domestic aviation market and has good connections to Laos, Myanmar, Cambodia and Vietnam and with its facilities under constraints, it has to beef up these facilities to cater for its own demands.
Therefore, Singapore and Thailand may not necessarily be competing directly against each other in the MRO sector, as they are targeting different segments of the MRO sector.
Otherwise, the current move by Thailand would not worry Singapore, thus the question on whether the Thai’s are really taking on Singapore in the MRO business can be set aside.