European aircraft manufacturer Airbus will build 11 more long-haul passenger jets for Indonesia. The deal, worth almost two billion euros ($2.5 billion), will help the company overcome its current shortage of orders.
Indonesia's flag carrier Garuda will purchase 11 A330 jets for long-distance travel from Europe's leading plane producer, Airbus. The deal seems more than welcome for the multinational company, which has only secured firm orders for 90 planes in the first quarter of 2012, compared with more than 400 for US rival Boeing.
The current order is worth 1.9 billion euros ($2.5 billion) at catalog prices. The new Airbus planes will be driven by UK-supplied Rolls-Royce engines.
"This deal between Airbus and Garuda Indonesia Airlines is great news for the UK aerospace industry," British Prime Minister David Cameron told reporters after arriving in Jakarta for a 24-hour visit.
The 11 long-haul A330s will increase by two thirds the number of passenger jets already delivered to Garuda, which is majority state-owned. Its main domestic rival Lion Air in February signed a record $22-billion deal for planes from Boeing.
Rising number of passengers
Garuda's Chief Executive, Emirsyah Satar, said he planned to use the new Airbus planes to expand in the Asia-Pacific region, including China, South Korea and Australia.
Indonesia has been witnessing a rapidly expanding aviation sector, as a growing middle class and business executives opt to travel by air across an archipelago of 17,000 islands. It's considered a more reliable way to travel, because many islands lack good roads or railways and ship connections are sporadic.
Asia and the Middle East currently offer the best prospects for plane sales by Airbus and other major jet manufacturers like Boeing, Bombardier or Embraer.
hg/gb (Reuters, dapd, AFP)