Haesl's jet engine centre has plenty of room to spare

PUBLISHED : Thursday, 16 June, 2011, 12:00am
UPDATED : Thursday, 16 June, 2011, 12:00am


Hong Kong Aero Engine Services (Haesl) is targeting Asian and Middle East operators of Rolls-Royce-powered aircraft after opening the US$50 million fifth phase of its jet-engine repair and overhaul facility in Tseung Kwan O yesterday.

Stephen Chu, Haesl general manager for commercial and materials management, said the 13,500 square metre building 'was just the beginning - [now] we have to generate the business'.

He said about 40 per cent of the firm's business came from Cathay Pacific Airways through its fleet of Rolls-Royce-powered Airbus and Boeing aircraft. The remaining 60 per cent came from close to 30 other airlines, including Air China, China Airlines, China Eastern Airlines and Emirates.

Haesl is jointly owned by Swire Pacific, Hong Kong Aircraft Engineering, Rolls-Royce and SIA Engineering.

Haesl chairman Tony Wood, who is also president of Rolls-Royce gas turbine services, said 'Asia, and China specifically, accounted for 50 per cent of the forward order book' for Rolls-Royce jet engines.

These included a deal with Cathay Pacific for Trent 700 engines to power 15 Airbus A330 aircraft that was signed in March.

Rolls-Royce also signed a US$150 million contracts package last month with Taiwanese airline TransAsia Airways for Trent 700 engines for two A330s due to be be delivered in 2012-13. The pact included long-term maintenance support of the engines.

Overall, Rolls-Royce forecast there would be 3,370 twin-aisle passenger aircraft, such as the A330 or Boeing 777, delivered to Asia-Pacific airlines between 2009 and 2028 with another 5,663 single-aisle aircraft deliveries in Asia in the same period.

The engine maker forecast that, globally, 137,000 engines worth more than US$800 billion would be required for more than 63,000 commercial aircraft and business aircraft over the next 20 years.

Christopher Pratt, chairman of both Swire Pacific and Cathay Pacific Airways, indicated that Haesl, which was created in 1997, would be responsible for maintaining the Rolls-Royce engines on the airline's Airbus 350-900 aircraft which will be delivered from 2015.

Pratt said Haesl would recruit 250 trades people, technicians and graduates over the next two years to meet the planned expansion of its engine overhaul business. Wood said about 100 of those would be employed directly as a result of the completion of the fifth phase of the complex.

Wood added there were not yet any firm plans to expand into China on the same basis as the Haesl venture.


Haesl's turnover in 2009, in US dollars

- In the same year, it reported paying US$99.6 million to shareholders