New CN-235 orders to save Indonesian aircraft company
19 Nov 2004
Although troubled with financial and labor problems, PT Dirgantara Indonesia (PTDI) aircraft company seems to have no problem finding buyers for the CN-235 tactical transport and maritime patrol aircraft.
PTDI paid a penalty in January for a three month delay in the delivery of a military passenger plane to Pakistan. The state-owned company has been having financial problems and disputes with its workers. In the past the company had difficulty selling its aircraft and government support was neccessary to keep the company alive. When the government withdrew its financial support in the late 1990s, the company was forced to lay off thousands of workers in 2003 as part of a major restructuring program.
The firm is currently building five CN-235 aircraft for the Indonesian Navy and three more for the Air Force, due to be delivered early next year and in mid-2006 respectively. PTDI is meanwhile working on two CN-235 for Pakistan and two for Malaysia, meeting the delivery date for these aircraft is essential for obtaining future orders.
Because, if PTDI can manage to meet delivery deadlines, it can expect several foreign orders. The United Arab Emirates (UAE), Bangladesh and Malaysia have expressed interest in buying three CN-235 aircraft per country, each aircraft worth 15 million US dollars. Also Libya expressed interest in obtaining the type last week. Malaysia is also expressing interest in simulators which could be produced by the company in the near future.
- The Jakarta Post