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_Leithen Francis leithen_francis@aviationweek.com

_Leithen Francis leithen_francis@aviationweek.com
Bell 525 Reaching Critical Milestone 
Bell Helicopter is finalizing the design of its new Bell 525, a medium-lift helo in development that is due for first flight in 2014.
Tiger Eyes Further Expansion In Indonesia, China 

Low-cost carrier Tiger Airways is planning to increase its Singapore-based fleet to 25 aircraft by the end of March, as it launches services to new destinations.

The carrier announced on May 6 that it is launching a daily non-stop service on the Singapore-Yogyakarta and Singapore-Bandung routes starting on July 1 and Aug. 1 respectively. The routes serve two secondary cities in Indonesia. Tiger’s only current Indonesian route is Singapore-Jakarta, but its Indonesian associate carrier, Mandala Airlines, has a service linking Denpasar Bali to Singapore.

GMF Considers New Heavy MRO Base
The MRO company’s head says he is assessing separate proposals from authorities in Batam and Bintan, two Indonesian islands off Singapore.
SIA Group Makes Broader Push Into Indonesia 

Singapore Airlines (SIA) Group is making a concerted effort to tap into more international traffic coming out of Indonesia, a move that comes as Indonesian carriers seek to expand their own international networks.

SIA’s short-haul, full-service operation SilkAir on July 29 plans to launch a three-weekly nonstop service from Singapore Changi to Achmad Yani International Airport in Semarang and a three-weekly service between Singapore and Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Makassar three days later.

Garuda's Quarterly Loss Likely Start Of A Trend 

The increased costs that caused Garuda Indonesia’s first quarter net loss are set to rise further once the airline takes delivery of its Boeing 777s later this year.

Aerovista Finds Opportunity In High-Risk Lease Markets 

A Dubai-based aircraft lessor may have found the secret to succeeding in the treacherous business of supporting airlines in trouble spots like Somalia, South Sudan and Afghanistan—wet-leasing to a selective client base.

Aerovista recognizes the value in working to bring air travel to underserved areas. Irfan Dhankot, Aerovista’s chief financial officer, notes that many of the emerging markets, particularly those in Africa, are incredibly under-served and that an airline that can provide a reliable and efficient service will generally do well.

SriLankan Fleet Renewal Poised To Take Off 

SriLankan Airlines, which hopes to buy Airbus A330-300s and A350-900s to replace a mix of older A330s and A340s, just got the go-ahead from the Sri Lankan government to place a multibillion dollar aircraft order and now plans to begin talks to finalize the deal.

The fleet renewal program is part of a $2.5 billion capital injection that the government has committed to the carrier over a seven-year period, says an airline spokesman.

Failing Open Skies, MAS Could Consider Overseas Ventures 

If a true regional open-skies deal brokered by the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (Asean) fails to materialize in 2015 as planned, flag carrier Malaysian Airlines’ (MAS) “Plan B” response will be expanding a joint-venture network to go beyond just its Oneworld partners or even, at a stretch, to invest, says MAS senior marketing VP Dean Dacko.

Indonesia's Sriwijaya Seeks To Lease More 737s 
Indonesian carrier Sriwijaya Air wants to lease more Boeing 737-500/800s and has put its last 737-200s up for sale. (737-800 photo: Boeing)
Sriwijaya Outlines Rationale For Adding Turboprops 

Indonesian carrier Sriwijaya Air wants to expand into turboprop operations to take advantage of growing demand in cities equipped with airports with runways shorter then 1,800 meters (5,905 ft).

The airline’s corporate planning and business development director, Jeff Jauwena, says there are only about 40 Indonesian airports with runways longer than 1,800 meters that can handle large narrowbodies, such as the Boeing 737-800. But there are more than 100 airports with shorter runways better suited for turboprop operations.

Garuda Does 777 Sale Leaseback With Alafco

Garuda Indonesia has completed a sale-leaseback deal with Kuwait-based aircraft leasing company Alafco for two Boeing 777-300ERs.

These two aircraft will be delivered in June and July, and will go into operation in July so Garuda can replace its aging Boeing 747-400s on the Jakarta-Jeddah route, according to airline oficials.

SIA Increases Stake In Virgin Australia 
Singapore Airlines says it will lift its ownership share in the Australian carrier from 9.9% to 19.9%. (Photo: Singapore Airlines)
Garuda Makes Medan Its Fourth Hub 

Garuda Indonesia’s Executive Vice president-Corporate Strategy and Development says the airline later this month will make Medan’s Polonia International Airport its fourth domestic hub.

Garuda’s main hub is at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, with others at Bali’s Denpasar-Ngurah Rai International Airport and Sultan Hasanuddin International airport at Makassar in eastern Indonesia. Medan is in western Indonesia and is the main city on Sumatra.

Jakarta Airport Capacity Expansion Continues 

Indonesian airport operator Angkasa Pura II is just months from opening Jakarta’s Halim Perdanakusuma Airport to scheduled jet operations in an effort to relieve congestion at the city’s main gateway Soekarno-Hatta International Airport.

Angkasa Pura II’s President Director, Tri Sunoko, says the operator is working to accommodate schedule jet operations at Halim, and that “hopefully it will happen in one or two months.” Angkasa Pura II plans to refurbish the passenger terminal, he adds.

Indonesian Aerospace Plans To Maintain CFM56-5 and PW100 Engines 

State-owned military aircraft manufacturer Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) is using its supplier contacts to develop its commercial maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) business.

Andi Alisjahban, IAe’s director of technology and engineering, speaking to Aviation Week today at the Airlines and Airports Conference and Exhibition in Jakarta, says the company plans to perform engine maintenance and overhauls on CFM International CFM56 and Pratt & Whitney PW100 engines.

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