Vietnam Airlines signs MoU for maintenance powered by virtual reality glasses, drones and robotics

Click! I see through my headset that an armrest in the aeroplane cabin (that I’m not even inside) is faulty. Click! I send a message to automated manufacturing plant to 3d print a new one. Click! I send instructions for a drone to pick up the new piece and bring it to me. Our engineer removes the old armrest and fits the new one – job done.

That’s a rough approximation of how Vietnam Airlines can now carry out its maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) thanks to a new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) with ST Aerospace, for Smart MRO, assisted by drone and AR technology .

The relationship between the two organisations is further bolstered with 58 A321CEOs and 20 A321NEOs, including all other A321s that will be delivered, in component maintenance starting from mid-2018. This maintenance contract will see ST Aerospace establish an inventory base in Vietnam.

Using the fixed rate per hour option, Vietnam Airlines will be able to choose from a comprehensive range of support services and pay a pre-set rate; keeping operations costs down while also retaining a tight grip on fixed asset inventory holdings in terms of spares or maintenance equipment.

“A major step forward for Vietnam’s aviation industry”

Dang Ngoc Hoa, executive vice president of Vietnam Airlines said, “We are delighted to partner with ST Aerospace to establish a joint venture as well as to provide MRO support for the A321 aircraft family, which is the majority of our fleet.

“This partnership not only improves our fleet efficiency and world-class service quality, but also represents a major step forward for Vietnam’s aviation industry in general, contributing to the boost of bilateral economic, trade and aviation relations between Vietnam and Singapore.”

Lim Serh Ghee, president of ST Aerospace said, “We are happy that Vietnam Airlines has decided to entrust their A321CEO and A321NEO fleet to us for component support, and even more so by the prospect of deepening our partnership with the exploration of a joint venture.”

Lim went on to say “The robust development of the economy and a burgeoning middle class have created an ideal environment for the growth of the aviation industry in the Asia Pacific region, and Vietnam’s double-digit growth in the air travel sector is the best reflection of this. Riding on this growth, strategic partnerships with established industry participants such as Vietnam Airlines will enable us to increase our regional footprint and better penetrate high-growth markets.”

The signing ceremony was held under the witness of Vietnamese prime minister Nguyen Xuan Phuc who is on an official visit to Singapore from 25 to 28 April 2018, and Singapore’s minister for national development, Lawrence Wong.

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