Indonesian airlines soaring high with big bucks at Singapore Airshow
The Singapore Airshow 2012 was significantly uplifted by deals made by Indonesian airlines, highlighting Indonesia’s massive aviation market that follows the country’s strong economic growth
The Roulettes aerobatic team of the Royal Australian Airforce. (Photo: MB)
by Maulana Bachtiar,
Singapore, 19 February 2012.
The Singapore Airshow 2012 was significantly uplifted by deals made by Indonesian airlines, highlighting Indonesia’s massive aviation market that follows the country’s strong economic growth. The airshow trade days that ran from 14 to 17 February 2012 received a record breaking $31 billion business deals, three times the value achieved by the previous airshow in 2010.
An artist impression of Boeing 737 MAX in Lion Air livery. (Photo: Boeing)
Lion Air shopped more than $20 billion
More than two third of the $31 billion valued deals were made by Indonesian carriers. Lion Air, Indonesia’ largest budget airline, shocked the aviation industry by confirming its purchase of 230 Boeing airplanes worth $22.4 billion. This includes an order of 201 Boeing 737 MAX, the newest of its kind. The aircraft order was acclaimed to be the largest commercial airplanes order in history.
Lion Air shopping spree did not stop with Boeing. The airline, known for its frequent delays, is ambitious for its future growth plan in Indonesia’s lower tier regions as it signed for orders of an extra 27 units of ATR 72. After a full delivery of these propeller-powered planes, Lion Air, through its Wings Air subsidiary, will be the world’s largest operator of ATR 72, with 60 aircrafts. The company also signed for an order of 4 Hawker 900 XP business jets worth $64 million, big money that now seems small in relative to its other purchases.
Garuda Indonesia will use Bombardier CRJ1000 as regional jets
An artist impression of Garuda Indonesia CRJ1000 regional jets. (Photo: Bombardier)
Meanwhile, Garuda Indonesia, the flag carrier that had recently made a major comeback as a world-class airline made a $297 million worth of deals with a Canadian plane maker, Bombardier. This will give the airline a delivery for 6 CRJ1000 aircrafts. It also claimed for an option of 18 more orders worth $1.32 billion. Garuda will use these sub-100 seater jets for route expansion from regional hubs like Makassar, Medan and probably Balikpapan.
Airbus Military C-295 for Indonesian Air Force
Indonesian orders further amazed the industry. Even the country’s air force was shopping big, with its $325 million order of C-295 military planes from Airbus Military. The C-295 could be assembled by PT. Dirgantara Indonesia, the Indonesian plane manufacturer that also produces the CN235 military plane and Super Puma helicopter in Bandung. The new C-295 aircrafts could be utilized for logistical necessities of the Indonesian Air Force.
The C295 military aircraft. (Photo: Airbus Military)
The public days and the Indonesian crowd
For a fee of SG$20, the Singapore Airshow was opened to members of the public from 18 to 19 February 2012. When we visited the first public day, we were surprised and disappointed by the early departure of the supposedly star of the show: the Boeing 787 ‘Dreamliner’. The plane departed from Changi Airport instead of the Airshow area and waved a roughly 30-second goodbye to the public attendees. Many were bewildered by its sudden departure as they had been expecting it to be displayed for the entire duration of the show.
The Royal Malaysian Airforce aerobatic team "Smokey Bandits" performing its signature maneuver. (Photo: MB)
The Boeing 787, which was in a special Dreamliner blue livery, left too early for most public attendees to gaze and snap photos. Those who come for the last day did not even have the 30-second chance of witnessing its flexible-looking wing as it made the goodbye wave. This made the previous airshows somehow more exciting for the public, especially in 2006 and 2008 during which the Airbus 380 Superjumbo was made as the flagship star of both airshows.
However despite the unrealized dream of seeing the Dreamliner aircraft in Singapore Airshow 2012, IPA Voices was astounded by the presence of many Indonesians at this event. One group of tourists was even spotted carrying luggage that still display airport tags and the distinctive yellow ribbon wrap made by Jakarta Airport security, showing their high enthusiasm for the airshow. The last time an international airshow was seen in the country was in 1996 at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta Airport. The year after, Indonesia was hit by its biggest economic downturn. Now that the country is booming more than ever, with many planes soaring high above its valuable sky, will we see Indonesia having its own international airshow soon?