Indonesian Aerospace (IAe) is seeking to expand its Eurocopter sales and service business to include the EC120 as part of a drastic restructuring effort that includes a desperate search for new revenue sources.

The government-owned manufacturer and maintenance provider reopened last week with a skeleton staff, ending a 10-day shutdown at its plant in Bandung (Flight International, 22-28 July). IAe plans to recall about 3,000 of its 9,670 employees over the next few weeks, but is planning restructuring that could further reduce its headcount by year-end, when several product lines are to be eliminated once partially complete aircraft are delivered.

IAe is targeting the EC120 to offset declining revenues from its other helicopter lines. NBO105 production will cease by year-end, Bell 412EP production by mid-2004 and the NAS332 Super Puma line may be shut down following the delivery of two to five of the 11 aircraft on back order.

"We're going to try to switch to a new product," says helicopter business unit vice-president Mohammed Mochajan. "The government plans to procure 60 EC120s for the police, air force and navy. We'd like to do customisation, flight testing and maintenance."A Eurocopter source says: "We've offered it to them and we're open for discussion." But he warns such a venture may not be financially feasible. EC120s are not maintenance-intensive and Indonesia may not acquire enough of them to justify a local service centre.

The police force is instead planning to acquire Enstrom 480Bs and stopped using IAe several years ago to service its NBO105s. IAe is trying to convince the government it needs the police's business to survive and seeks to support the 480B if the police refuses to switch its acquisition plans to the EC120 or EC135.

Source: Flight International