Leithen Francis leithen_francis@aviationweek.com

Leithen Francis leithen_francis@aviationweek.com
Articles
Indonesia's Batik Still Waiting For AOC 

Lion Air’s new full-service Indonesian carrier, Batik Air, has yet to secure its air operator certificate (AOC), even though it plans to launch operations on May 3.

Lion’s President Director, Rusdi Kirana, told Aviation Week earlier this month that Batik’s first route will be between Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado.

Indonesia Air Adds Its First A320 

Indonesia Air, the scheduled arm of charter carrier Indonesia Air Transport (IAT), has added its first Airbus A320.

At the Airlines and Airports conference and exhibition in Jakarta April 22, officials from the airline told Aviation Week the A320 will operate from Bandung’s Husein Sastranegara International Airport to Minangkabau International Airport in Padang, Sultan Syarif Qasim II International Airport in Pekanbaru, Palembang International Airport and Polonia International Airport in Medan.

Indonesia's TransNusa To Go International 

Indonesian carrier TransNusa next year plans to launch international services.

The international expansion will include services from the airline’s base at Kupang’s El Tari Airport to Darwin International Airport in Australia and Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport in Dili, Timor Leste, TransNusa’s manager for Bali, Yudith Ramandha, tells Aviation Week at the Airlines and Airports Conference and Exhibition in Jakarta.

New Zealand Buying More Seasprites 
New Zealand has decided to buy eight secondhand Kaman Seasprite SH-2G(I) naval helicopters for $15 million each, the government says.
Travelport Changing Its Business Model 

Travelport, one of the major global distribution systems (GDS) travel agents use to book airline tickets, is making a push to tap airlines’ auxiliary business revenues. It is also trying to adapt its business model so it can generate revenue from travel agents as well as airlines.

Derek Sharp, Travelport’s managing director for global distribution, sales and services says they are caught between airlines, which want to reduce the fees they pay the GDS for bookings, and travel agents who do not want to pay for anything.

Honeywell Making Push Into Indonesia's MRO Market 

Honeywell is in talks with Indonesian MRO providers, including GMF AeroAsia, to perform more maintenance on its OEM systems.

“We already work with GMF on auxiliary power units, but have had some discussions about expanding our relationship both on the mechanical and the avionics side,” says Brian Davis, Honeywell Aerospace VP airlines Asia Pacific.

Lion Air To Continue Rapid Expansion 

In the wake of the April 13 crash of a Lion Air Boeing 737-800 in Bali, aviation analysts have questioned whether the incident will lead the airline to curtail its expansion. But Lion’s President Director Rusdi Kirana tells Aviation Week that despite what happened, the airline will continue to take delivery of 24 737-900ERs and 12 ATR 72s this year, as earlier planned.

Honeywell Hopes To Work On Manila Airport ATM 

Manila Ninoy Aquino International Airport, which has had problems in recent years with its instrument landing system (ILS) transmitters, are in talks with Honeywell about installing a ground-based augmentation system (GBAS) to improve air traffic management.

“We are far down the path with an agreement with Manila airport,” says Brian Davis, Honeywell Aerospace vice president-airlines Asia Pacific. Manila’s airport is one of the most congested in Asia and the surrounding residential area does not allow for the addition of a new runway.

Data Link Key To Future Thai Air Force Procurements

Network-centric capability is the Thai air force’s top goal, making Link-T, Thailand’s indigenously developed data link, the potential linchpin for defense companies hoping to win contracts.

Avia Saab Technologies, a joint venture between Thai company Savia Satcom and Swedish company Saab, developed Link-T. It was born out of what Thai air force Air Chief Marshal Prajin Juntong refers to as “The Gripen Project.”

Lion's Crashed 737 Leased From Avolon 

Irish lessor Avolon owns the Lion Air Boeing 737-800 that crashed short of the runway at Denpassar-Ngurah BAli International Airport.

A source at Lion Air involved in fleet management tells Aviation Week that the carrier recently completed a sale and leaseback deal with Avolon on six new 737-800s, one of which was PK-LKS, the aircrfat involved in the accident.

That aircraft on April 13 landed in water just short of Runway 09. The aircraft then washed up on rocks about 50 meters from shore and broke into two.

Malindo Launching Services To India 

Lion Air’s Malaysian joint-venture carrier, Malindo Air, in June launching services to India, its first international destination.

According to a schedule loaded onto the Sabre global distribution system, the airline on June 1 will launch daily, nonstop services from its base at Kuala Lumpur International Airport to New Delhi Indira Ghandi International Airport and Tiruchirapalli International Airport in southern India.

Pilot Actions Investigated After Lion Air Crash
Safety officials look for answers in wake of Bali incident.
Malindo To Fly Turboprops From Subang 

Malaysian carrier Malindo Air, which started operations in March and is 49% owned by Indonesia’s Lion Air, plans to operate ATR 72 turboprops out of Malaysia’s Subang Airport, says a source from Malaysia’s Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

“That is Malindo’s proposal. That’s their business plan. Yes, they want to fly turboprops out of Subang,” the source tells Aviation Week. The DCA however, has yet to grant the approval, the source adds.

Thai Smile Chief Wants To Double Fleet 

Management at Thai Airways International’s new short-haul operation, Thai Smile, wants to double the operation’s fleet to 40 aircraft.

“Twenty aircraft is still not enough capacity to ensure that Thai Smile adequately taps the intra-Asia opportunities,” particularly with Asia Pacific markets liberalizing, the airline’s Managing Director Woranate Laprabang tells Aviation Week. “It has got to be 40 aircraft,” he continues, noting that a business plan for such a fleet has been sent to Thai Airways board of directors.

AirAsia X Poised To Decide On A330 MRO Provider
AirAsia X will decide very soon which maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) company to select for Airbus A330 heavy checks.
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