Airbus Defence & Space has signed a letter of intent with an Indonesian company related to Jakarta’s possible purchase of the A400M transport aircraft.

The LOI was signed with Pelita Air Services, which represents a consortium of state-owned companies involved in aerospace, says Airbus in an email to FlightGlobal.

“We believe that the A400M will be an outstanding asset to support Indonesia´s vision of creating an air bridge to help redistribute wealth and resources across the archipelago as well as providing the basis for the expansion of our long-standing industrial cooperation,” says Fernando Alonso, head of military aircraft at the airframer.

“The A400M´s advanced design and exceptional performance make it extremely well qualified to play a key role in creating a safe and robust air transport network for Indonesia. And in the future it could also be the basis for the transformation of the Indonesian Air Force’s air mobility operation.”

The LOI sets the stage for discussions about topics such as the number of aircraft Jakarta could acquire and local industrial participation.

Airbus has long been interested in selling the A400M to Indonesia. In 2012, the company said it was collaborating with Indonesian state airframer Indonesian Aerospace (IAe, also known as Dirgantara Indonesia) about possible workshare on the A400M.

Airbus has extensive relationships with Indonesian industry, with IAe now the world’s sole producer of the C212, which it produces in an upgraded form designated NC212i. The Indonesian company also produces the CN235 and C295, and has extensive workshare with Airbus Helicopters platforms.

Pelita Air provides worldwide air charter services, oil and gas support operations and general aviation services, operating a mixed fleet of fixed wing aircraft and helicopters from its main base at Jakarta Halim Perdanakusuma airport, primarily in support of Indonesia's state oil company, Pertamina. Commercial air services were introduced in 1981, when the company became a stand-alone subsidiary.