The Lion Air Group’s maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) subsidiary plans to expand its base on the Indonesian island of Batam, to handle the group’s expected fleet growth and also to service more third-party customers.
The subsidiary, known as Batam Aero Technic (BAT), constructed its first facilities on the island in 2013. BAT now has two hangars capable of accommodating 12 narrowbody or four widebody aircraft. A third hangar is being built which will handle six narrowbody aircraft. It is scheduled to be completed by the end of 2018, BAT CEO Rai Pering said.
In addition to the hangars, workshops for auxiliary power units (APU), landing gear and components are expected to be ready in the first quarter of 2018, Pering said. Construction on an engine workshop will start in 2018 and is slated to be ready in 2021.
The main driver for BAT’s growth are the rapidly expanding carriers in the Lion Group, including Lion Air, Malindo Air, Thai Lion Air, and Batik Air. The group has placed orders for more than 400 Boeing and Airbus narrowbody aircraft, which will be allocated to the Indonesian parent carrier and the other affiliates.
One of the major advantages of Batam as an MRO site is that it is very close to the aviation and logistics hub of Singapore. Its location north of Jakarta also means it can support Thai Lion Air and Malaysia-based Malindo Air more readily, Pering said. Batam is already a secondary hub for Lion Air flights.
BAT currently performs maintenance on all of the aircraft types Lion Group operates. This means it can work on Boeing 737s, Airbus A320s and A330s, and ATR turboprops. Pering confirmed the subsidiary will also handle maintenance for the 737 MAX and A320neo, both of which Lion has on order.
The company was recently granted FAA Part 145 certification for maintenance on 737s, which will help it gain more third-party work. BAT is also preparing to apply for EASA certification, Pering said.