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SUBANG JAYA: The inaugural Selangor Aviation Show 2021 (SAS 2021) is slated to springboard the industry in the state by tapping into the business as well as the general segment, according to Selangor Mentri Besar Datuk Seri Amirudin Shari.

“Out of the proverbial ‘ashes’, some sectors in the industry proved resilient and showed a propensity to recover quicker and more sustainably from the pandemic effect,” he said in his address at the official opening of SAS 2021 today, which was delivered via a virtual link.

Amirudin acknowledged that the cargo segment is one of them but not all airlines or operators have the capabilities or resources to tap into this in-demand market.

He pointed out that business aviation is also a metaphorical “phoenix” in the industry as a report by Global Jet Capital found 1.8 million business jet flights took place across the globe in the first seven months of 2021, a 49% increase over the same period in 2020.

“More importantly, the number of flights for the same period in pre-pandemic 2019 was 1.79 million, which meant we are already now seeing current flight activity for business jets surpassing even 2019 levels.”

Amirudin believes the tide is turning for air travel and Selangor is now ready to lead the way in moving out of the pandemic scenarios, stemming from the availability of vaccines and the efforts to get people vaccinated.

Similarly, Selangor senior executive councillor Datuk Teng Chang Khim (pix), who officiated at the opening, said he sees the air show as a reset button for the industry, a means to get all the players and operators affected by the pandemic to come out and do business like they used to.

He highlighted that the industry needs a spark to fuel their growth, despite the unwavering support given by federal and state governments to ensure operators can operate during the pandemic.

“It is important for us to give necessary regulations to avoid supply chain disruption and to boost the morale of the industry,“ Teng said, although, a complete recovery will be contingent on the reopening of international borders, allowing for cross-border business activity.

“However, we are unable to determine the full extent of recovery due to the global uncertainty,“ he added.

During the tour of SAS 2021, Teng disclosed that three companies have expressed interest to expand their manufacturing footprint into Selangor.

“One of them is Gokbey, a helicopter manufacturer from Turkey, which has started their search for a suitable manufacturing and hoped to commence construction in the next two to three years.”

Teng stated that such investment will snowball into other segments of the supply chain, as the manufacturing will lead to maintenance, repair and overhaul services as well as other related sub-segments.

“Hence, we hope to establish a well-connected and resilient ecosystem in Selangor, making it the regional hub for the region, particularly in business and general aviation.”

The optimism over aviation is not limited to the authorities alone. Global Component Asia Sdn Bhd’s managing director, Syahrul Azmir Zaki, believes 2022 will be better than the current year as inter-regional travel is expected to restart.

“Having said that, the general consensus among the industry players is 2024 we see the start of a return to normalcy,” he told SunBiz.

“For industry players like us, we are taking this opportunity to examine our capabilities, especially at the regional level in order to expand further.”

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