Indonesia’s aircraft maintenance firm expects rising demand hinh anh 1A plane of Garuda Indonesia (Photo: AFP/VNA)

Jakarta (VNA) – PT Garuda Maintenance Facilities (GMF) AeroAsia, a company of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, forecast stronger demand for maintenance, repair and overhaul (MRO) services from non-affiliated international airlines as a result of diverted flights due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

President director Tazar Marta Kurniawan said GMF AeroAsia projected a year-on-year increase of 80 percent in the contribution of non-affiliated international airlines for its MRO services, from 71 percent in 2019.

The firm might receive more orders for MRO services from international airlines, since those who were scheduled to have maintenance in China, for example, would be diverted to this company because of the coronavirus outbreak, he noted.

Notable carriers such as American Airlines, Air France and Qatar Airways have temporarily halted all flights to China. Several countries, including the United Arab Emirates and Indonesia, have also temporarily suspended all flights to mainland China to prevent the further spread of the virus.

GMF AeroAsia had so far received three orders for maintenance services from international airlines that were not on the company’s roster this year, Tazar said, adding that the increased demand for maintenance from non-affiliates could offset the expected decline in orders from affiliate airlines as well as flag carrier Garuda Indonesia and its low-cost subsidiary Citilink Indonesia, since both airlines have reduced their flights to China and Saudi Arabia for “umrah” (pilgrimage).

He said GMF AeroAsia would accommodate new orders according to capacity, and the company plans to open a new MRO facility this year in Denpasar, Bali, bringing its total to 25./.