With the worsening worldwide pandemic, European planemaker, Airbus, has decided to pull out of the joint venture with Thai Airways International to develop a maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) facility at Rayong’s U-Tapao Airport. However, Thai Airways has announced that it will press ahead with the project, either on its own or with a new partner.
This 11-billion-baht MRO facility was part of the government’s Eastern Economic Corridor (EEC) mega-investment project to promote Thailand as an aviation and MRO hub in the region. The planned MRO hub would feature the latest digital technologies and was set for completion in 2022-2023.
Unfortunately, with global air traffic practically brought to a standstill, Airbus has been hit hard by the crisis and will be dropping out of the project investment—although the company will still cooperate on technology.
Thai Airways remains hopeful as there is time to find a new partner with construction still in its early stages and that Airbus or Boeing would come back in after the pandemic eases.
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