Asian Aviation Editor Matt Driskill is In Conversation with Mahesh Kumar, the CEO of Asia Digital Engineering, the MRO division of the AirAsia Group. The two discuss MRO in ASEAN and Asia-Pacific, COVID, and aviation in general. Kumar, 37, was appointed CEO of ADE in September 2020. In this role, he leads the transformation of AirAsia’s Engineering department into a Maintenance, Repair and Overhaul (MRO) service provider driven by data and technology for all commercial airlines in the region. Prior to this appointment, Kumar was the Head of Fleet & Technical Asset Management at AirAsia. During that time, AirAsia sealed two major aircraft portfolio deals with BBAM and Castlelake LP for a combined value of US$3.6 billion which won the 2018 Air Finance Journal Award and 2019 APAC Airline Economics Award. In 2015, he was appointed as a pioneering Senior Vice President, Technical of the newly set up Asia Aviation Capital Limited, the aircraft leasing arm of AirAsia.
Kumar joined AirAsia’s Engineering department in 2009 and since then has been involved in various engineering projects including defining and selection of aircraft and engine type, setting up AirAsia India Engineering and transforming Zest Airways into AirAsia Philippines. Kumar holds a Bachelor’s in Aeronautical Engineering.