Air France Industries KLM Engineering & Maintenance and Garuda Indonesia's technical division have agreed a strategic partnership.

The European MRO group says the co-operation is aimed at developing and improving GMF AeroAsia's quality systems and airframe, engine and component capabilities, while AFI KLM E&M's Asian footprint is to be strengthened.

Describing the European company as the "most suitable partner for GMF's needs", the latter MRO provider's chief executive Iwan Joeniarto states: "AFI KLM E&M's brand, [which is] already well-known worldwide, is expected to be able to attract a bigger market to GMF."

He adds: "With this partnership we believe we could leverage our new brand image as a total-solutions MRO provider."

Jakarta-based GMF has a target of becoming a top-10 MRO provider worldwide by 2020.

Air France-KLM executive vice-president of engineering & maintenance Anne Brachet foresees that the tie-up will provide the group with a "better position in the Asia-Pacific MRO market, where the needs are booming."

Noting previous co-operation between the two MROs over "many years", KLM E&M executive vice-president Ton Dortmans states: "It was natural for us to move up a stage and consolidate our partnership."

The two sides in 2017 signed a tentative co-operation agreement, following efforts by GMF to find a partner.

AFI KLM E&M credits GMF with "enhancing its skills over the years" and notes its categorisation by the FAA as a "high-quality MRO" in 2017. GMF had the previous year been described by the US regulator as a "low-risk MRO".

GMF holds approvals from the FAA, the European Aviation Safety Agency, Indonesia's Directorate General of Civil Aviation, and Australia’s Civil Aviation Safety Authority.