Airbus and Indonesia have maintained an enduring relationship for more than 40 years, going back to 1976 when PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PT DI) obtained a licence to produce the NC212 and NBO-105 – in-country-built versions of the C212 light tactical aircraft and BO-105 helicopter (both are products of Airbus predecessor companies).
In February 1979, the Garuda Indonesia airline placed an order for Airbus’ cornerstone A300B4 jetliner and was involved in the development of the world’s first widebody airliner flown by a two-pilot crew (eliminating the need for a third crewmember, the flight engineer). Since then, the European manufacturer has become a leading supplier of commercial airliners, helicopters and defence products and services to the country.
Beyond its commercial success, Airbus also has established itself as Indonesia’s largest aviation industry partner. Indonesian aerospace firms supply aerostructures and components across the Airbus commercial aircraft, military and helicopter product lines. Airbus also supports the training of pilots, engineers and technicians in Indonesia, helping the country to meet its growing demand for aviation professionals.
Garuda Indonesia’s relationship with Airbus began in February 1979, when the airline ordered nine of the original Airbus A300B4s – the world's first widebody twin engine aircraft. As part of Airbus’ philosophy of working closely with its customers on the refinement of its products, the carrier was subsequently involved in the development of the two-pilot "forward-facing" cockpit, signifying the removal of the traditional side-facing flight engineer’s position. With the delivery of its initial A300-series aircraft in 1982, officially designated the A300FFCC (Forward-Facing Crew Cockpit), Garuda Indonesia became the first airline in the world to operate a widebody jetliner with a two-pilot crew. The forward-facing cockpit has since become an airline industry standard.
Following seven years of successful operations with the A300, Garuda Indonesia became one of the early customers for the follow-on A330 widebody when it placed an order for nine aircraft at the end of 1989. The initial A330 was delivered in 1996, and the airline subsequently selected the version once again for its fleet modernisation plans.
Garuda Indonesia operated a total of 27 jetliners from the A330 Family as of June 2021, comprising seven A330-200 variants and 17 in the longer-fuselage A330-300 configuration, as well as three A330neos. These were in service on its key routes to destinations in Asia and Australia and featured the airline’s premium long-haul cabin products. In April 2016, Garuda Indonesia confirmed an order with Airbus for the purchase of 14 A330neo airliners: the new re-engined and updated variant of the A330 Family.
Garuda Indonesia finalised an order for the purchase of 15 single-aisle A320 Family jetliners in August 2011, making the airline a new A320 Family customer. The order covered seven A320ceo and eight A320neo aircraft for operation by its low-cost Citilink unit. At the end of 2012, Citilink placed its first direct order with Airbus for another 25 A320neo jetliners.
In advance of deliveries from its direct order, Citilink began operating leased A320s in 2011. In February 2017, Citilink received its initial A320neo and today has 41 A320ceo and 10 A320neo aircraft in its fleet, operating its domestic and international network.
Indonesia AirAsia (IAA), the Jakarta-based affiliate of the AirAsia Group, became a new A320 operator in 2008. As of June 2021, it operated a fleet of 25 A320 jets on its domestic and international routes.
In March 2013, Airbus welcomed a new Indonesian customer when low-cost carrier Lion Air placed a major order for 234 A320 Family aircraft. Lion Air revised this order in May 2019 to 220 A320 Family jets, comprising 113 A320neo versions, 65 A321neo aircraft and 42 in the A320ceo configuration. The A320ceo order was then revised to 44 units. All A320ceo orders have been delivered to the Lion Air Group, and are part of the fleet of its full service unit Batik Air. The airline received its first A320neo in January 2020.
In 2015, the Lion Air Group finalised an order with Airbus for the purchase of three A330-300 widebody aircraft. Two years later, it ordered an additional three A330-300s. Lion Air took the delivery of its first A330-300 in October 2015 and operated three of the jetliners with a high-density cabin configuration on its popular domestic and regional routes in 2018. The other three A330-300s were in service with Thai Lion, the Group’s affiliate in Thailand.
Airbus welcomed a new operator in June 2021, Super Air Jet. The low-cost carrier operated four A320ceo aircraft.
The country’s primary aerospace company, PT Dirgantara Indonesia, initiated its relationship with Airbus Helicopters in 1976 with the licence-production of the NBO-105 in Bandung. More than 100 of these light twin-engine rotorcraft were manufactured for the domestic and export markets.
Airbus is a leader in the Indonesian helicopter segment with nearly 150 rotorcraft in service with more than 30 Indonesian operators. This represents 35% of the market, and includes helicopters ranging from the light single and light twin models to the larger Dauphin and Super Puma families.
In the civil and parapublic sector, Airbus-built helicopters are deployed extensively within Indonesia for utility missions, VIP and passenger transport, business aviation, law enforcement, and emergency medical services. The Indonesian armed forces operate Airbus rotorcraft for tactical training, tactical transport, search and rescue missions as well as light utility operations.
Airbus and PT Dirgantara Indonesia work together to configure and deliver helicopters to Indonesian government customers, including the H225M, H215M, AS565 MBe Panther, AS365 N3+, H135, the Fennec (AS550, AS555 and AS350), as well as legacy platforms such as the NAS330, NSP332 and NBO-105. They are in service with the Indonesian Presidential fleet, the armed forces, police and coast guard as well as Indonesian Civil Aviation Institute’s (STPI) training centre.
The Airbus Defence and Space division has been present in Indonesia since 1976, when a predecessor company collaborated with Nurtanio (now PT Dirgantara Indonesia) in the military aircraft business. This paved the way for the license production of the CN212 airlifter at the PT Dirgantara Indonesia facilities in Bandung for both domestic and export customers. More than 40 C212s were in service as of 2021 with the Indonesian armed forces and civil agencies, performing a variety of transport and maritime surveillance operations.
In the 1980s, Airbus and PT Dirgantara Indonesia agreed to a cooperative development of the CN235, a larger medium-range twin-turboprop aircraft, with production lines in both Spain and Indonesia. In 2021, there were 12 CN235s in service with the Indonesian armed forces, deployed on transport and maritime patrol missions.
Airbus and PT Dirgantara Indonesia signed a firm contract in February 2012 to supply nine C295 aircraft, an increased-capability version of the CN235, to Indonesia’s Ministry of Defence. The deal included a substantial industrial collaboration plan that resulted in PT Dirgantara Indonesia becoming a global supplier for the C295 programme, and the setting up of a C295 final assembly line in Bandung, Indonesia. In 2021, there were 11 C295s in service with the Indonesian Air Force, operating on transport missions.
Airbus also works with Indonesia’s space agency, LAPAN, to develop its capabilities for satellite imagery reception. This enables LAPAN to receive images from the Airbus-built Pleiades and TerraSAR-X satellites that help Indonesia monitor and optimise its natural resources.
Airbus signed a Maintenance Training Services (MTS) partnership agreement with Indonesian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm GMF AeroAsia in June 2013. This resulted in the integration of GMF’s instructors into Airbus’ global maintenance training organisation. It also supported the growth of the Indonesian MRO’s in-house type-training capabilities for A320 and A330 aircraft maintenance, developed its ab-initio training capabilities and allowed it to offer courses for local and regional Airbus customers. The agreement – which supports the expansion of its training facilities in Jakarta – was renewed for another five years in June 2018, positioning GMF AeroAsia as a leading provider of maintenance training services in the region.
In March 2014, to meet the country’s growing demand for flight crew, Airbus and the Lion Air Group signed a new Training Centre Services Agreement to develop flight training programmes for its airlines. Airbus provides its expertise and personnel, as well as the syllabi and tools, for the courses conducted at the Lion Group’s Angkasa Aviation Centre in Jakarta. As of 2018, the facility included two A320 Family Full Flight Simulators.
In the manufacturing sector, the Indonesian unit of UTC Aerospace Systems (UTAS) is a supplier for Airbus commercial aircraft. From its facilities in Bandung, it produces machined complex parts of the Airbus primary flight control system, such as the A320 spoiler valve block; along with complex aluminium mechanical parts for A320 aileron, yaw damper, and trimmable horizontal stabilizer actuator.
PT Dirgantara Indonesia is a supplier to a wide range of Airbus aircraft programmes. These include parts for the A320 Family’s nose section and engine pylons, fixed leading edge parts for the wing of the A350 XWB, as well as and nose and fixed leading-edge parts for A380 wings. The Indonesian company also supplies the tail empennage, rear fuselage panels and emergency door for the popular C295 medium-lift military aircraft. Additionally, it manufactures the main fuselage assembly and tail boom for both civil and military variants of the popular H225 helicopter from the Super Puma Family.
In 2017, Airbus Helicopters and PT Dirgantara Indonesia signed an agreement to expand this collaboration to cover support and services dedicated for the Indonesian government’s fleet of helicopters. This includes the joint development of local support and capabilities to cover maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services for these rotorcraft.