Aerospace & Transportation Project Division
The Aerospace & Transportation Project Division develops aerospace industry businesses as a sales agent for commercial aircraft and defense systems and through its leasing, part-out, and business jet businesses. The division is also engaged in airport management, railroad, and other transportation infrastructure businesses as well as in-flight catering, freight car leasing, and other peripheral businesses. Meanwhile, this division’s marine vessels business handles multiple types of new and secondhand vessels.
Strengths of the Division
- ●Over 50 years of business experience in the aerospace, transportation, and marine vessel fields
- ●Ability to collect and analyze information related to the aerospace industry, enabling us to develop an understanding of the needs and issues of aircraft manufacturers, airlines, leasing companies, parts-related companies, airport facilities companies, and others
- ●Ability to propose integrated transportation infrastructure solutions
- ●Ability to pursue synergy with other divisions in airport management business projects
- ●Comprehensive capabilities in the marine vessel field, leveraging a wealth of knowledge and a robust overseas network
- ●Trends in global aircraft demand and trends in inbound demand
- ●Rising demand for transportation, airport, and harbor infrastructure in emerging countries
- ●Demand for upgrading to aircraft and marine vessels using alternative fuel sources in response to environmental regulations
- ●Reduced air travel demand due to the COVID-19 pandemic and post-pandemic demand trends
- ●Financial and economic stagnation and event risks such as natural disasters
- ●Changes in U.S.–China relations, conditions in the Middle East, and other international trends and changes in regulations by country
Global aircraft demand is expected to grow, as is infrastructure demand in emerging countries. At the same time, however, the structures affecting industry continue to change. Examples of this change can be seen in instability in international trends and the introduction of environmental regulations.
Medium-Term Management Plan 2023 calls for the Aerospace & Transportation Project Division to step up its response to the volatile operating environment in its aviation- related businesses while also bolstering its functions and expanding the scale of railway maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) businesses in the transportation field. Specifically, the plan puts forth the three policies of build upon global partnership with Boeing, expand business jet-related functions, and broaden North American railway operations. As we enact these policies, we will continue to grow existing operations while pursuing increased earnings in airport management businesses through our in-flight catering operations, launching new marine vessel-related businesses, and developing distribution and other operations aimed at connecting harbors and freight railways.
The COVID-19 pandemic caused a sharp decline in aircraft (passenger) demand. Although domestic flights in Japan are showing a gradual recovery, it is likely that it will take several years for demand for international flights to recover to prior levels. This reality will have an undeniable impact on the operations of the Aerospace & Transportation Project Division. Regardless, we will continue to pursue higher earnings in North American railway businesses, which were relatively unaffected by the pandemic, while also incorporating new demand in business jet and other businesses. At the same time, we will implement measures in preparation for the recovery in demand to be seen after the pandemic subsides.
In-flight catering operations (Sojitz Royal In-flight Catering Co., Ltd.)
North American railcar leasing (Southwest Rail Industries Inc.)
■Part-Out Business Using Retired and Aging Aircraft
We will expand business activities by leveraging our accumulated networks and expertise to further strengthen our earnings foundation with the aim of scaling-up our part-out business, which uses retired and aging aircraft. In Europe, a focus will be growing operations through TDA Holdings B.V. of the Netherlands, in which investment was commenced in 2020, while priorities in the Americas will include building and acquiring robust business platforms through M&A activities. We thereby aim to secure the capacities needed to capitalize on the demand to emerge after the COVID-19 pandemic.
■In-Flight Catering Business
Through its capital and business tie-up with Royal Holdings Co., Ltd., Sojitz entered into the in-flight catering business in April 2021 via consolidated subsidiary Sojitz Royal In-flight Catering Co., Ltd. This company is not only Japan’s first in-flight catering company, it also boasts world-leading levels of quality. Our in-flight catering business is currently suffering the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic. Nevertheless, we are working to explore nonairline sales channels while taking advantage of the rising business opportunities in domestic airports with the aim of growing Sojitz Royal In-flight Catering into one of the top in-flight catering companies in Asia in the future.
■Transportation Infrastructure Business
Our EPC initiatives, exemplified by our Indian railway project, are performing steadily, and the Canadian MRO company in which we invested in 2015 is also continuing to ensure steady earnings for our North American railway business. Sojitz also invested in a North American railcar leasing company in March 2021. Our goal going forward is to stabilize our earnings while broadening our scope of operations in North America so that we can leverage our accumulated expertise in a variety of ways.
■Airport Management Business
We are actively involved in the airport management business, both overseas (Palau and Khabarovsk) and in Japan (Shimojishima, Kumamoto, and elsewhere), and we are using the experience gained from these businesses to strengthen our airport management and operation functions. We are also working to grow the earnings of airport-related businesses through in-flight catering operations advanced via coordination with other divisions as we seek to expand our earnings foundation through synergy with other Sojitz Group businesses.
Expansion of Business Jet Service Earnings
In its business jet service operations, Sojitz invested in Phenix Jet Group in 2017 and began collaborating with ANA Holdings in 2018. Business jet demand has remained strong, even amid the COVID-19 pandemic, and we therefore look to capitalize on the new demand projected to emerge after the pandemic. We are also examining the possibility of conducting M&A activities for the purpose of enhancing functions so as to supply highervalue- added services that accommodate a more diverse range of customer needs and to thereby expand earnings in this area.