AirAsia and CAE have concluded a sale and purchase agreement concerning the Asian Aviation Centre of Excellence (AACE), which is currently a 50:50 joint venture between the two companies.

The US$100 million transaction (including earn-out) will give CAE full control over AACE's three training centres – located in Sepang, Malaysia; Singapore; and Ho Chi Minh City, Vietnam – as well as a share in the Philippine Academy of Aviation Training (PAAT), a joint-venture training centre between AACE and Cebu Pacific located in Manila, Philippines.

“CAE and AirAsia have been close partners since 2004, and we created AACE together in 2011. This new agreement is a natural evolution of our relationship and a win-win for both organisations,” declared Marc Parent, CAE’s President and CEO. “It allows AirAsia to concentrate on its core business by completely outsourcing its training needs to CAE, and it allows CAE to expand its footprint in Asia Pacific, the fastest-growing aviation market.”

CAE will remain AirAsia Group's exclusive training partner, as the carrier has extended its existing contract for all training requirements of AirAsia and its affiliates across all aircraft types until 2036.

“We've had CAE as our training partner of choice for many years now and it has been a great success. Our first MPL cadets trained by CAE are now flying as captains, and we put our full trust in CAE to fulfil our training needs at the highest quality level, as we continue to grow," added Tony Fernandes, Group CEO of AirAsia.

“AirAsia is rich in assets but our core business is passenger service and ancillary, and we will continue to regularly dispose of non-core investments and dividend most of it out, subject to board approval. This stake sale is just part of our long-term plan to monetise all our assets. We are also working on several other divestments of valuable assets including our leasing arm, which is imminent.”

AACE offers training for pilots, cabin crew, maintenance engineers, technicians, and ground services personnel on the Airbus A320, A330, and Boeing 737NG platforms.

The closing of the transaction is subject to customary closing conditions, including regulatory approvals. TD Securities acted as financial advisor to CAE.