Europe’s ban on Indonesian airlines and Indonesian-registered aircraft has inadvertently made it harder for aircraft to be delivered from European aircraft makers such as Airbus to airlines in Indonesia.

Deputy director of flight standards at Indonesia’s Directorate General of Civil Aviation (DGCA), Diding Sunardi, says the EU ban on Indonesian-registered aircraft is the reason why the DGCA has stopped sending inspectors to Europe to inspect aircraft.

Diding says the DGCA used to send inspectors to Europe to inspect aircraft that Indonesian carriers had bought or were planning to lease. After inspection in Europe the aircraft would then be put on the Indonesian aircraft registry and be flown from Europe to Indonesia, he says.

But now the DGCA is unable to do this because the EU ban means there is no way an Indonesian-registered aircraft would be permitted to be flown from Europe to Indonesia, says Diding.

To get around the restriction Indonesian carriers that wish to purchase or lease aircraft from Europe must first get the aircraft registered in a country other than Indonesia and have the aircraft flown to a country outside Europe, he says.

Indonesian inspectors will then inspect the aircraft in the non-EU country and get it put on the Indonesian registry, he says.

These extra procedures have made it more expensive for Indonesian carriers to source aircraft from Europe and, as a consequence, “maybe European industry has lost some opportunities”, says Diding.

He also says the new procedures have been particularly hard on Indonesian carrier Mandala Airlines which has been receiving aircraft from Airbus in Toulouse.

Mandala Airlines CEO Warwick Brady says in December the airline had two new Airbus A320s delivered from Airbus and the extra procedures caused a two week delay and additional costs of $250,000 per aircraft, excluding opportunity cost.

“Normally we would get the aircraft put on the PK [Indonesian] register and then fly it out of Toulouse but we couldn’t do that,” says Brady.

Instead the airline had to get the aircraft put on the French registry, which took about two weeks - and resulted in legal and administrative costs - and during that time Mandala still had to pay the leasing company the lease on the aircraft even though it was on the ground, he says.

Brady says normally Mandala would use its own pilots for the ferry flight but instead it had to get a third-party company to do the ferry flight.

The only consolation was that when the aircraft arrived in Jakarta, the DGCA’s inspectors worked quickly to get the aircraft on the Indonesian registry, he adds.

In June last year the EU banned all Indonesian carriers and Indonesian-registered aircraft from operating to the EU after Indonesia failed an ICAO safety audit.

Since then Indonesia has vowed to improve safety and is now focusing on getting the ban lifted on four Indonesian airlines including Mandala.

Source:'s sister premium news site Air Transport Intelligence news