AAV In Conversation with Mahesh Kumar, CEO of Asia Digital Engineering, on MRO, COVID & More

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ProfileAsian 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.

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Matthew Driskill is the Editor of Asian Aviation and is based in Cambodia. He has been an Asia-based journalist and content producer since 1990 for outlets including Reuters and the International Herald Tribune/New York Times and is a former president of the Foreign Correspondents Club of Hong Kong. He frequently appears on international broadcast outlets like CNN, Al Jazeera and the BBC and has taught journalism at Hong Kong University and the American University of Paris. Driskill has received awards from the Associated Press for Investigative Reporting and Business Writing and in 1989 was named the John J. McCloy Fellow by the Graduate School of Journalism at Columbia University in New York where he earned his Master's Degree.

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