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PETALING JAYA: The Malaysian aerospace industry’s revenue is expected to rebound and regain pre-Covid-19 levels as early as next year, said Senior Minister cum International Trade and Industry Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Azmin Ali.

He said this can be achieved if Malaysia continues to capture new work packages with a positive impact on the whole ecosystem through product localisation.

“The recovery will be expedited if the industry can further expand its air cargo services, business aviation, maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO), as well as professional training services,” Azmin said at the Airbus Malaysia Connect Webinar today.

He noted that Covid-19 has resulted in a 20-30% decline in revenue for the country’s aerospace industry in 2020 compared with revenue of RM16.22 billion reported in 2019, largely due to the closure of international borders and domestic travel restrictions, while aerospace manufacturing and MRO saw a deferment of orders and services.

Endau Analytics’ founder and analyst, Shukor Yusof, expressed his reservations on the local aviation industry’s recovery prospects as the Covid-19 R-nought number is at 1.16, a high risk number.

“If you have a number higher than 1.0, the ability to restart any form of economic activity is very, very low, until this has been drastically reduced to about 0.5-0.6. Any form of restarting aviation has to be severely curbed until the numbers get better.”

Airbus Asia Pacific president Anand Stanley said the global aviation industry is not expected to recover until 2023 on the back of tough restrictions and quarantine measures introduced by various governments.

“Covid-19 is the most significant crisis in aviation since the dawn of the industry, more severe and prolonged than anyone expected. We see a global recovery in 2023 but not before,” he added.

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