Merpati deal gives boost to struggling Indonesian Aerospace

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Indonesia’s Merpati Nusantara Airlines has ordered 10 C-212 turboprops from Indonesian Aerospace, giving the struggling state-owned manufacturer an important contract win.

The purchase agreement was signed yesterday at an official ceremony witnessed by Indonesia’s minister for state enterprises, Sofyan Djalil.

Indonesian Aerospace says in a statement that the version to be built for Merpati will be the C-212-400. They will be the first -400s produced by Indonesian Aerospace, which until now has been producing the -200 under a licensing arrangement with EADS’ Spanish arm EADS Casa.

It adds that under a previous agreement with EADS Casa, production and assembly facilities for the aircraft will be moved from Spain to its Bandung headquarters.

Merpati currently operates four C-212-200s, according to Flight’s ACAS database, and its larger -400s are expected to be delivered in 2009.

The contract is an important one for Indonesian Aerospace, which years ago had ambitions to develop its own aircraft for sale globally but which more recently has been struggling to keep its lines from licence-production work going.

It says that in addition to the Merpati contract, it has secured loans from two state-owned banks for $100 million for working capital and to help it produce the C-212-400s.