Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Bombardier targets South-east Asia

SUBANG JAYA: Canadian aircraft maker Bombardier Inc wants to enhance its presence in Southeast Asia after securing a contract for the supply of two amphibious aircraft to the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).

Bombardier's amphibious aircraft division president Michel Bourgeois said it would use the aircraft for MMEA as the benchmark and the showcase towards marketing it to the rest of the region.

Bourgeois . Photo by Suhaimi Yusuf

"We hope that this aircraft will be able to be the showcase in Asia. If Malaysia is able to demonstrate the capability of this aircraft, we believe that other countries will come forward," Bourgeois told The Edge Financial Daily .

From left: Najib, Maritime Malaysia DG Admiral Datuk Mohd Amdan Kurish and Deputy Minister in the Prime Minister's Department Datuk Hasan Malek boarding the Amphibious CL415. Photo by Suhaimi Yusuf

He was speaking after a ceremony to hand over one of the aircraft, the Green Aircraft Amphibious Bombardier CL415, to Deputy Prime Minister Datuk Seri Najib Razak, who received it on behalf of MMEA. The other aircraft will be delivered by November.

Bourgeois said the aircraft, which specialises in fire fighting, search and rescue, surveillance and emergency operations, was unique in the region, with Thailand utilising an older model of the amphibious aircraft.

He was optimistic about Bombardier's potential in the region despite the global economic uncertainty as the aircraft was specifically used by governments and paramilitary organisations.

"We go through a different cycle than you will see in the private sector, so we remain hopeful that we will not be affected," he said. Bombardier has supplied commercial aircraft to countries in Asia including China, Hong Kong and Singapore.

Speaking at the ceremony, Najib said the aircraft purchase underscored the government's commitment to ensuring safety and security in Malaysia's sea zones.

"As a major trading nation, it is important for us in terms of security and economic imperative to ensure our sea lanes are safe," he said.

Bourgeois also said Bombardier, which won the open tender last June, had a two-year contract with MMEA to train its pilots for flight preparation.

The company is also training MMEA engineers and technicians from its local service partner AJ Aeroservices Sdn Bhd to perform maintenance on its aircraft.

Source: Edge Daily

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