Vietjet and Bamboo Airways sign lucrative deals following the United States - North Korea Summit
The ongoing United States – North Korea summit, in Hanoi, Vietnam has seen aviation leader Vietjet and manufacturing leader Boeing sign a number of new deals.
The airline is set to acquire 100 new 737 MAX airplanes worth US$12.7bn, while Bamboo Airways will gain 10 787-9 Dreamliners from Boeing, totalling close to $3bn. The move forms part of Bamboo’s long-term growth strategy and plans to provide non-stop flights to the US and Europe later this year.
“We are pleased to expand our partnership with Vietjet and to support their impressive growth with new, advanced airplanes such as the 737 MAX. We are confident the MAX will help Vietjet grow more efficiently and provide great travel experiences for their passengers,” stated Boeing Commercial Airplanes President & CEO Kevin McAllister in a recent press release.
“The economic expansion in Hanoi and across Vietnam is impressive. Vietjet and the country’s burgeoning aviation sector are clearly enablers, helping to stimulate travel within Vietnam and connecting Vietnam with the rest of Asia. We are proud to support this economic development, which in turn supports engineering and manufacturing jobs in the United States.”
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Owned by FLC Group, Bamboo Airways is set to cater to the ongoing demand of its customers. “Vietnam-US economic and trade relations are expanding very quickly. The need to open direct flights between the two markets is imperative. These flights will not only play a role in promoting activities in the tourism industry, but also help to further develop bilateral trade and investment opportunities,” observed Trinh Van Quyet, Chairman of FLC Group.
Earlier in 2016, Vietjet also signed a 100 B737 MAX order, setting the mark for the largest commercial jet purchase in Vietnam’s aviation sector. “The deal for 100 new airplanes and other agreements for 200 B737 MAX airplanes are important moves for us to meet our international flight network expansion plan with a higher capacity, thus offering our passengers more exciting experiences when being able to fly to more new international destinations,” added Vietjet President and CEO Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao. “The contract signing ceremony, will mark a milestone for the two companies’ growth path.”
In addition to airplane purchases, Boeing will partner with Vietjet to enhance technical and engineering expertise, train pilots and technicians, and improve management capabilities at the airline and in Vietnam. Vietjet’s airplane purchase order contributes to increased trade turnover between the US and Vietnam. Vietjet, in particular, is seen as a pioneer for international foreign affairs and economic diplomacy and known for promoting the image of an innovative Vietnam to the world.
Gartner: Leaders Lack Skilled Smart Manufacturing Workers
With organisations rapidly adopting industry 4.0 capabilities to increase productivity, efficiency, transparency, and quality as well as reduce cost, manufacturers “are under pressure to bring their workforce into the 21st century,” says Gartner.
While more connected factory workers are leveraging digital tools and data management techniques to improve decision accuracy, increase knowledge and lessen variability, 57% of manufacturing leaders feel that their organisations lack the skilled workers needed to support their smart manufacturing digitalisation plans.
“Our survey revealed that manufacturers are currently going through a difficult phase in their digitisation journey toward smart manufacturing,” said Simon Jacobson, Vice President analyst, Gartner Supply Chain practice.
“They accept that changing from a break-fix mentality and culture to a data-driven workforce is a must. However, intuition, efficiency and engagement cannot be sacrificed. New workers might be tech-savvy but lack access to best practices and know-how — and tenured workers might have the knowledge, but not the digital skills. A truly connected factory worker in a smart manufacturing environment needs both.”
Surveying 439 respondents from North America, Western Europe and APAC, Gartner found that “organisational complexity, integration and process reengineering are the most prevalent challenges for executing smart manufacturing initiatives.” Combined they represent “the largest change management obstacle [for manufacturers],” adds Gartner.
“It’s interesting to see that leadership commitment is frequently cited as not being a challenge. Across all respondents, 83% agree that their leadership understands and accepts the need to invest in smart manufacturing. However, it does not reflect whether or not the majority of leaders understand the magnitude of change in front of them – regarding technology, as well as talent,” added Jacobson.
Technology and People
While the value and opportunities smart manufacturing can provide an organisation is being recognised, introducing technology alone isn’t enough. Gartner emphasises the importance of evolving factory workers alongside the technology, ensuring that they are on board in order for the change to be successful.
“The most immediate action is for organisations to realize that this is more than digitisation. It requires synchronising activities for capability building, capability enablement and empowering people. Taking a ‘how to improve a day in the life’ approach will increase engagement, continuous learning and ultimately foster a pull-based approach that will attract tenured workers. They are the best points of contact to identify the best starting points for automation and the required data and digital tools for better decision-making,” said Jacobson.
Long term, “it is important to establish a data-driven culture in manufacturing operations that is rooted in governance and training - without stifling employee creativity and ingenuity,” concluded Gartner.