Dubai, November 16, 2009 - The Jebel Ali Free Zone (Jafza) announced today that Aerostructures Middle East Services, FZCO (AMES), a 50/50 joint venture company created by Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance and Aircelle, SAFRAN Group has signed a lease agreement with Jafza to establish its operating base at Jebel Ali Free Zone, clearing the way for an early 2010 start-up of overhaul and repair services for jet engine nacelles.
The agreement was signed at the Jafza Pavilion at the Dubai Airshow 2009, the foremost aerospace event in the Middle East and the fastest growing airshow in the world.
The agreement entitles AMES to set up its Jafza maintenance centre in a 10,000 square metre facility, where the company will offer Middle East customers a full range of services for nacelles on engines from CFM International, General Electric, Pratt & Whitney and Rolls-Royce.
AMES brings together the expertise of Air France Industries as a top provider of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services with Aircelle’s capabilities as a leading original equipment manufacturer of small, medium and large engine nacelles.
The driving factor behind AMES’ creation is the opportunity to support the Middle East’s sizable jetliner fleets of Airbus A320s, A330s, A340-500/600s, A380s and Boeing 777s. With its base in Jafza – which offers excellent logistics and operational facilities – AMES will be positioned to provide high quality services that are reactive and competitive for customers throughout the region. The new facility will also be positioned well to serve fleets for the upcoming Al Maktoum International Airport planned as the world's largest passenger and cargo hub.
Speaking on the sidelines of the Dubai Airshow 2009, Ibrahim Al Janahi, Chief Commercial Officer, Jafza said: “Due to its proximity to both the Jebel Ali port and the Al Maktoum Airport, the Jebel Ali Free Zone is the perfect base for a first-rate aviation repair and overhaul operational facility such as Aerostructures Middle East Services. We have collaborated with Dubai World Central for the formation of the Dubai Logistics Corridor, linking sea, land and air, bringing together for the first time in the Middle East all of the components needed to create a multi-modal logistics platform. With the new synergies in place, we are creating the right ground for growth of companies in the aviation industry. We sincerely hope this places AMES in a trajectory of efficiency and growth.”
“Proximity to the customer is vital in today’s highly competitive environment, and the Jebel Ali Free Zone location brings our service solutions into the heart of the Middle East airline marketplace,” said AMES General Manager Antoine Succar.
Commenting on the joint venture’s offering of tailored capabilities, François Vitti, the AMES Manager of Operations and Customer Support, explained: “We can support our customers by optimizing their maintenance programs, and also respond to airlines’ specific needs, including the on-wing inspection and repair of engine podding.”
Mansoor Al Bastaki, Sales Manager – Europe, Jafza visited Aircelle and Air France Headquarters in Paris several times last year to discuss the company’s future strategies and expansion plans and how Jafza could help facilitate the company’s growth in the region. He said: “We take great care in building long-term relationships with our customers – who are essentially our business partners – and take even greater care in creating the right conditions for their growth with world-class infrastructure and business-friendly, efficiency-driven services and policies.”
Jafza is one of the world’s largest and the fastest growing free zones. Established in 1985, Jafza today is spread over an area of 48 sq. kms and is home to over 6000 companies, including over 150 of the Fortune Global 500 enterprises, from across the world. It is a leading driver of the burgeoning UAE economy. With its impeccable track record, Jafza stands for innovation, customer centricity, transparent operations and entrepreneurial dynamism. There are currently about 110 French companies based in Jafza. The free zone is a major player in the bilateral trade between Dubai and France.
In 2008, total direct trade, including import, export and re-export, between the two economies valued AED 14.9 billion, according to the latest figures released by Dubai World’s Statistics Department.
Aircelle is one of the leading players in the worldwide nacelle market for aircraft engines. A member of the SAFRAN group, it employs approximately 3,000 persons at seven sites in France, the United Kingdom and Morocco. Aircelle is the only nacelle manufacturer present on all the market segments, from regional jets and corporate aircraft to the largest airliners.
About AFI KLM E&M
Following the merger between Air France and KLM, Air France Industries and KLM Engineering & Maintenance joined forces to become the world-leading multi-product MRO (Maintenance, Repair, Overhaul) provider. With a joint workforce of over 14,000, AFI KLM E&M offers comprehensive technical support capabilities for airline operators ranging from engineering and aerostructures work to the management, repair and supply of aircraft parts and components, backed by a powerful logistics network. Together they support more than 1,230 aircraft operated by over 150 major international airlines.