Indonesia's Express Air, KalStar poised to start turboprop ops

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Indonesian carriers Expressair and KalStar aim to launch turboprop operations in the coming weeks although they are still in the process of getting regulatory approvals.

Both operators will be leasing the turboprops from Indonesian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm Aero Nusantara Indonesia (ANI) whose CEO, Sigurdur Gislasson, says KalStar "are starting by the end of the month with two aircraft".

He says it is now a requirement in Indonesia to start with at least two aircraft.

KalStar plans to get three aircraft in total from ANI and these will be all ATR 42-300s.

Gislasson says one has already been delivered to Indonesia and the second is on its way from France.

KalStar was originally aiming to launch in August but Gislasson says "there has been all kinds of procedural delays".

The airline was previously using the air operator's certificate (AOC) of Indonesia's Trigana Air Service so it has to get its own AOC and the aircraft have to be put on the Indonesian registry.

ANI will also be leasing four Dornier 328s to Indonesian carrier Expressair, formerly Xpress Air.

The airline currently leases Boeing 737-200s from ANI but wants to add turboprops for feeder services.

Gislasson says the first 328 is in Indonesia, has been painted in Express Air livery and is ready to fly but there are some procedural matters that need to be cleared.

He says it is taking time to get approvals because the 328 is a new aircraft type for Indonesia.

The second 328 for Express Air is due to arrive in Indonesia in about two weeks, he adds.