GE Aerospace aims to strengthen Middle East presence after conglomerate's three-way split

The aerospace and energy businesses will now operate as independent entities following healthcare unit's separation last year

GE Aerospace and GE Vernova started trading as independent companies on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. AP
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Aircraft engine supplier GE Aerospace aims to strengthen its presence in the Middle East after launching as an independent public entity following the completion of parent company General Electric's split into three companies on Tuesday.

GE Aerospace and GE Vernova – the industrial major’s energy business – started trading as independent companies on the New York Stock Exchange on Tuesday. The conglomerate's healthcare unit separated last year.

“Across the Middle East – the company’s largest market for wide-body orders globally – the aerospace sector is experiencing a substantial expansion amidst a surge in demand – and continued growth is expected,” Russell Stokes, president and chief executive of Commercial Engines and Services at GE Aerospace, told The National.

“In the UAE in particular, over the past 40 years, GE Aerospace has become an integral part of the aviation landscape,” he said.

“With the establishment of GE Aerospace facilities throughout the country, including an On Wing Support Centre, the Middle East Technology Centre and partnership engineering and MRO facilities, we are underscoring our commitment to the needs of partners in the region.”

At the Dubai Airshow last year, the company recorded more than 450 engine orders, Mr Stokes said, adding that GE Aerospace is working with local teams on the ground and an open maintenance, repair and overhaul network to support the region’s aviation ambitions.

“Beyond the engine, we are focused on capability building, enhancing opportunities for highly skilled jobs, and supporting the region’s 100 per cent SAF [sustainable aviation fuel] standards development,” he said.

Airlines in the Middle East have been boosting the use of SAF as they seek to reduce emissions. The alternative fuel is widely considered in the global aviation industry as the most significant contributor to helping it reach its net-zero goal by 2050.

In January last year, Emirates successfully completed a demonstration flight powered by 100 per cent SAF, with the Boeing 777-300ER plane flying more than an hour over Dubai.

The wide-body aircraft was powered by SAF in one GE90 engine, with conventional jet fuel powering the other.

GE split

Since the global financial crisis more than a decade ago, the industrial giant has struggled and been retrenching from its once-expansive conglomerate structure, including the sale of the bulk of the GE Capital finance arm.

Over the last several years, GE has taken steps to significantly strengthen the business, including reducing more than $100 billion in debt since 2018.

GE’s chief executive Larry Culp announced in November 2021 that the conglomerate will split into three separate companies, focusing on health care, power and aviation. GE executed the spin-off of GE HealthCare in January last year.

“With the successful launch of three independent, public companies now complete – today marks a historic final step in the multiyear transformation of GE,” said Mr Culp, who is also the chairman of GE Aerospace.

“GE Aerospace moves forward with a strong balance sheet and greater focus to invent the future of flight, lift people up and bring them home safely.”

GE Aerospace has an installed base of about 44,000 commercial engines and about 26,000 military and defence engines around the world, it said on Tuesday.

The company said it generated about $32 billion in adjusted revenue last year, with 70 per cent from services.

Meanwhile, with more than 80,000 employees across more than 100 countries, GE Vernova has also now become an independent company “singularly focused on accelerating the energy transition to create a more sustainable future”, said Scott Strazik, chief executive of GE Vernova.

Updated: April 03, 2024, 3:52 AM