Garuda Indonesia, Switzerland strengthen cooperation on airplane maintenance

Garuda Indonesia, Switzerland strengthen cooperation on airplane maintenance

A number of PT Garuda Indonesia aircraft parked in Hangar 4 Garuda Maintenance Facility (GMF), Soekarno-Hatta Airport in Tangerang, Banten. (ANTARA/Muhammad Adimaja)

Later, we will develop this arrangement further."
Tangerang (ANTARA News) - The Indonesian flag carrier, Garuda Indonesia, and the Government of Switzerland will strengthen cooperation in the field of aircraft maintenance through a subsidiary of Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF).

Director of Engineering and Information Technology of Garuda Indonesia, Iwan Joeniarto, said here on Friday (April 1) that the cooperation has been established in the form of arrangements for exchange of knowledge about aircraft maintenance, aircraft mechanic training and provision of maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) equipment.

In the initial phase, the cooperation arrangement will be for five years for Boeing 737 New Generation.

"Later, we will develop this arrangement further," he said.

According to Iwan, the Swiss authority is interested in cooperating with the GMF because the company is very competitive and has qualified human resources.

"We have lands that are widespread, although we still lack in infrastructure," he said.

The Vice President of Switzerland, Doris Leuthard, appreciated the facilities owned by Garuda Indonesia Group and hoped that the existing cooperation could be improved and continued in the future.

"The meeting today has provided us with new insights regarding a very positive synergy between Garuda and GMF as a subsidiary," he said.

Vice President Leuthard assessed that Garuda and GMF together form for a great potential in Indonesia in the face of the competition in the aviation world globally.

The official working visit of the Swiss Vice President, who is also the Minister of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC), is part of a series of diplomatic visits to Indonesia.

The Director of GMF, Juliandra Nurtjahjo, said the visit of the Vice President of Switzerland was an excellent opportunity and valuable for GMF. Also, it was in line with the companys target to be among the top 10 MROs in the world by 2020.

"This is a very good opportunity for GMF because we can introduce our facilities and explore other areas for potential cooperation," he said.

Juliandra remarked that the MRO market is currently growing, including in Indonesia. There are at least 700 aircrafts that require MRO services with a market value of approximately US$ 900 million. So far, the GMF has been able to claim only about 30 percent of the market opportunity.

Leuthard also met the Indonesian Minister of Transport, Ignasius Jonan, on Thursday (March 31).

Both the officials renewed an agreement between Indonesian government and the Swiss Federal Council related to Scheduled Air Services in Jakarta.

The renewal agreement aims to accommodate a wider mutual interest in the Air Service Agreement (ASA).

The minister said although currently no Indonesian airlines flies to Switzerland, the agreement is the first step to open up opportunities in the future for Indonesian airlines to serve flights to the country.