Dirgantara Indonesia to maintain Airbus helicopters

Operators of Airbus helicopters in the country will no longer need to bring the choppers to Singapore or Malaysia for maintenance as PT Dirgantara Indonesia has 

signed a deal with Airbus Helicopters that allows the state-owned company to provide maintenance and repair services.

Dirgantara president director Budi Santoso and Airbus Helicopters CEO Guillaume Faury signed the memorandum of understanding (MoU) on Wednesday during the Singapore Airshow 2014 in Singapore.

Airbus Helicopters is a global helicopter manufacturing and support company based in Marignane, France. The MoU was part of Dirgantara’s efforts to provide services for Airbus helicopters in Indonesia.

Dirgantara vice president Arie Wibowo said on Thursday that the agreement allowed the country’s plane maker to provide maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) works for various Airbus helicopters in Indonesia, such as the AS365 Dauphin, EC725 Cougar and AS350/AS555 Fennec.

“We can reap more revenues by providing the services. Eventually, we can build our capacity,” Arie said.

According to Arie, the agreement was a follow up to earlier cooperation between Dirgantara and Airbus Helicopters that began in 1970.

The Bandung-based plane manufacturer got a license from Airbus Helicopters to produce 122 NBO-105 choppers. Dirgantara also produced the NSA-330 Puma and NAS-332 Super Puma.

In addition, Dirgantara has been a supplier of Airbus aircraft components since 2012. The aircraft maker, according to him, has supplied tail, upper and lower parts for the Eurocopter EC725 Super Cougar and Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma.

Total production is currently at 125 units.

Arie stated that the Dirgantara-Airbus Helicopters agreement was evidence that the domestic plane manufacturer had met the qualifications required by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) and European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA).

“The license from FAA and EASA is our selling point,” said Arie in a statement.

There are many multinational corporations (MNCs) in Indonesia and they mostly operate Airbus helicopters. When asked about the total number of helicopters Dirgantara could serve per year, Arie said the company could serve three to 10 per year, adding that the company’s target market included the government and military.

According to Arie, there are around 500 helicopters operating in Indonesia. He, however, has not predicted the company’s potential revenues. “If we can get 40 percent of that number, it will be good,” he added.

Arie expects MRO services to generate Rp 200 billion [US$ 16.6 million] every year for the aircraft company.

Arie also said that service fees offered by Dirgantara were more competitive compared to those of other airlines in other countries.

“Our service fees are 10 to 15 percent cheaper than our competitors,” Arie said. 

Sumber : Jakartapost