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Fast 5: Indonesian Airline Transforms Fleet and Network

Patrick Neo, PT TransNusa Aviation Mandiri’s senior VP fleet and technical management, talks to Lee Ann Shay on the sidelines of Aviation Week’s MRO Asia-Pacific Conference in Singapore about the airline’s ownership, fleet and network planning changes.

I understand PT TransNusa Aviation Mandiri’s ownership just changed. When was it completed and will it affect the name?

The ownership transaction just completed the end of September, so effectively Oct 1. The company’s name will stay the same but the airline brand will change. That’s work in progress.

Will PT TransNusa keep the Fokker 50 and 70 fleet?

The Fokker fleet will be totally retired. We’re putting them out for sale. We have two Fokker 50s and one Fokker 70, so we are talking to a couple of interested buyers right now. We’ll get rid of them all in December or at the latest, in January.

Do you have any parts obsolescence issues with that fleet?

We encounter some of those; however, we are quite sufficient in terms of spares support, but occasionally we do have difficulty securing spares that we don’t anticipate. However, we are getting rid of all remaining Fokker 50 and 70 spares as part of the aircraft sale deal, or maybe separately on consignment with parts distributors. So, we are talking to various parties right now. The process is going well: I think we have quite a few people who are interested in the aircraft because we maintain them very well. They could go to the African market or entities that deal with mining companies in in Asia and Africa.

What’s driving the fleet change? Will you keep the ATRs?

The ATRs will ultimately be the backbone of the airline. Part of the intent behind it is to refleet and grow our presence in the market. We will maintain our presence with the oil, gas and petroleum (charter) customers but at the same time, build up a scheduled network.

We currently operate four ATRs: one ATR42-500 and three ATR72-600s. Hopefully by next year we will be able to increase the fleet to seven if not 10. The additional ATRs will be a mix but we are very interested in the ATR42s because they allow us to fly to very specific destinations that have shorter runways (1,100 meters). The ATR42 has a better fuel performance and is very capable.

How much of your flying is for charter versus scheduled passenger service?

At the moment, it’s about 85% oil, gas and petroleum and 15% network. We’re going to try to change that progressively: it will be part of our capacity to grow and to bring in the additional aircraft, as well as obtain slots at various airports. That work is progressive. We are concentrating on revamping the airline, our marketing and especially our technical department.

TAGS: Asia Pacific
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