Malaysia aims to be regional aircraft maintenance hub - report

Kuala Lumpur (ThomsonFinancial) - Malaysia plans to become

a regional hub for aircraft maintenance and repairs amid strong growth in air

travel worldwide, deputy prime minister Najib Razak said Friday.

Najib said the country was currently ranked fifth in Asia and tenth in the world in terms of aircraft maintenance, repair and overhaul.

"Our hub will be unique because it'll be able to handle civilian and military planes as well as helicopters," he was quoted as saying by the state news agency Bernama.

Companies involved in maintenance activities include national carrier Malaysia Airlines, Eurocopter -- which maintains helicopters -- and Airod which has been working on foreign military planes, he said.

"Suitables areas for maintenance, repair and overhaul activities have been identified," Najib said.

The deputy premier said that rising demand for air travel, fleet expansion by airlines and the introducion of new and bigger aircraft support the development of a robust maintenance industry.

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