Indonesian maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) firm GMF AeroAsia will be applying for EASA certification for heavy maintenance checks on Airbus A320s, it is looking at partnerships for engine maintenance and it is speaking to its parent Garuda Indonesia about getting money to build a new narrowbody and a widebody hangar.

Last year GMF made a net profit of 67 billion rupiah ($7 million) on revenue of 1.597 trillion rupiah but even though it generates its own profits it still needs to speak to its parent Garuda Indonesia about getting the cash to build the new hangars, GMF's president and CEO, Richard Budihadianto, tells ATI in Jakarta.

He says GMF's 2008 financial results compare to a net profit of 40 billion rupiah in 2007 on revenue of 1.103 trillion rupiah.

This year it is aiming to make a $9 million profit, he adds. In today's exchange rate that comes to 90 billion rupiah.

GMF has benefited from the growth of Indonesia's airline industry and it has been getting more third-party work from airlines in Indonesia and overseas which is why it wants to build two new hangars.

Currently it has hangar one that can accommodate four widebodies simultaneously, hangar two which is used for line maintenance and can accommodate nine narrowbodies and there is hangar three which is used for heavy maintenance and can accommodate nine narrowbodies.

"We plan to have another two hangars and the priority is to have a narrowbody hangar like hangar three," says Budihadianto, adding that the new narrowbody hangar will be either opposite or on the east side of hangar three.

"Hangar five will be for widebodies and will be next to hangar one."

Budihadianto says they are at the evaluation stage and plan to make a decision next month.

It takes 18 months to two years to add a new hangar so "it could be completed in late 2011."

"We are now discussing with Garuda to put in more capital into this company or else we will have to find a financial institution or maybe" have a partnership, he says.

GMF already has a partnership with MTU Aero Engines for maintenance, repair and overhaul of CFM International CFM56-3 engines used to power Boeing 737-300/400s.

"Now we are trying to see whether to work together on CFM56-7 engines" used to power Boeing 737-800/900ERs.

Garuda operates 737-800s and GMF's largest third-party customer Lion Air operates 737-900ERs.

Budihadianto confirms Lion might have an opportunity to be a partner in GMF's -7 engine business.

GMF, meanwhile, is also moving into Airbus A320 airframe heavy maintenance.

For "A320 we want to submit, we want to have C-check certification from EASA," says Budihadianto.

"At the moment A320 heavy maintenance work is being done in Singapore and Malaysia" but Indonesia is a big market, he says.

Boeing has traditionally dominated the Indonesian market but in recent years Batavia Air has added Airbus A319s and Indonesia AirAsia and Mandala Airlines has decided to only operate A320s.

Source: Air Transport Intelligence news