Aerospace groups look to board Boeing production

September 01, 2022 | 11:00
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Opportunities are opening up for businesses in Vietnam to join aerospace manufacturing supply chains, adding to its status as the fastest-rising commercial aviation market in the region.

At last week’s Boeing Aerospace Industry Forum, Alexander Feldman, president of Boeing Southeast Asia, talked of Vietnam’s role in the region and improvements in the manufacturing industry.

Aerospace groups look to board Boeing production
An overview of the forum on August 25 in Hanoi. Photo: Boeing

“We see the impressive movement of Vietnam in this industry, so we would like to expand our presence here in Vietnam, strengthen the work together between Boeing and companies and people in Vietnam to build on the aerospace story, manufacturing aeroplanes for the future,” said Feldman.

He predicted bumper sales in the region over the next 10 years, given the need for thousands of new aircraft to power the demand that travel will require. “Vietnam is the fastest-growing commercial aviation market in Southeast Asia, and ranks seventh worldwide,” he added.

Recognising the opportunities for deeper participation in the Boeing supply chain, Viettel subsidiary M3 Communication Company has made efforts to receive the NADCAP (National Aerospace and Defense Contractors Accreditation Program) global industry certificate.

“Based on NADCAP, we are confident of becoming a vendor of the US-based airplane manufacturer. We are the reputable corporation in the field of electronics, and precision machining and manufacturing; the largest Vietnamese fibre optic cable manufacturer, exporting to 10 international markets; and the core unit in Vietnam’s high-tech aerospace industry,” said Dang Dinh Thi, CEO of M3 Communication.

M3 Communication is currently building a new manufacturing area in Hanoi’s Hoa Lac Hi-Tech Park, specialising in the aerospace industry, in addition to three other facilities.

Meanwhile, Aerospace Engineering Services JSC hopes to become a partner of Boeing after dozens of years in partnership with groups such as Vietnam Airlines and Vietjet in maintenance, repair, and overhaul.

“We are the first Vietnamese aviation organisation offering services with EASA (European Aviation Safety Agency) and (Federal Aviation Administration) FAA standards at such an early stage. If we can work with the likes of Boeing, it will be a remarkable milestone in the development process of the company, and confirm the capacity of Vietnam’s privately-owned companies,” said representative Nguyen Thi Men.

Several companies based in Vietnam have already joined Boeing’s supply chain, including Mitsubishi Heavy Industries Aerospace Vietnam (MHI), Nikkiso Vietnam, and Universal Alloy Corporation Vietnam, and they would all like to expand the collaboration with Boeing and local suppliers in the industry.

“In the future, we would like to solve issues of aeroplane manufacture clusters in Asia, and move into high value-added areas with a view to the future,” said Masakazu Igaue, general manager at MHI. “Following the passenger entry door and the inboard flap that we are manufacturing, in the next few years, existing Boeing movable wings and doors will also be integrated into production in Vietnam, and those of future airplanes will be added in the next step.”

Boeing 777 and 777X doors are assembled at MHI, and in 2014 it invested in an expansion of its facility.

“We have suppliers from businesses in Vietnam that work with us directly and indirectly through other partners in Japan and South Korea, among others,” said Michael Arthur, senior vice president of Boeing and president of Boeing International. “On every new Boeing aircraft, there is a piece of Vietnam. We would like that piece to be bigger, and that’s the purpose of expanding our operation in the country. The next few years will show that Vietnam is becoming a major aviation hub and a partner for our industry. So Boeing is determined to be a bigger part of the story here.”

Boeing’s global technology strategy is based on partnerships, innovation, and advanced local presence. This brand boasts 130 projects, 2,200 technology suppliers and partners, and 12 global research centres around the world.

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With a promising outlook in the post-pandemic era, international aircraft manufacturers are seeking to expand their partnerships in Vietnam’s burgeoning aviation market to tap into its growing demand for aircraft and related tech, as well as to expand their supply chain.

By Hara Nguyen

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