Batam is just 35 min. by sea from Singapore, which will make it easier to obtain parts via the extensive logistics network there. Lion plans to establish its own ferry service to Singapore for transporting spare parts. This would be useful in situations such as the disassembly and overhaul of an engine at Batam, when there would be certain parts and components that would be sent to the relevant original equipment manufacturer's MRO operation in Singapore.
With the planned capacity increase, Lion intends to conduct more third-party maintenance work, says Romdani. The carrier currently does a very limited amount of third-party work, mostly on behalf of the owners of some leased aircraft that it operates.
The construction of the Batam facility means Lion could potentially allocate 30% of its heavy maintenance capacity to third-party work, Romdani says. However, the carrier is emphatic that this does not mean 30% of the capacity will always be set aside—the amount of outside work will depend on demand and Lion's own maintenance needs.
Lion also may still send its aircraft to Singapore MRO providers or to Garuda's GMF AeroAsia if its own facilities are full. But this will obviously happen to a lesser extent when all four hangars are open.
The engine and component repair facilities at Batam are expected to open by the end of 2016 or the first quarter of 2017. Lion is in discussion with several companies about potential partnerships, Romdani says. On the engine side, Lion is talking with both Pratt & Whitney and CFM.
As Lion builds its expertise in this area it will handle a wider range of engine and component work. However, it will still make sense to send some parts to OEMs and specialist companies.
While the Batam operation will be controlled by Lion Technic, it will be branded as Batam Aero Technic. The different name will underline the increased emphasis on third-party work.
Gaining European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) certification for Batam and its other maintenance facilities is a major objective for Lion. The carrier is beginning this process with its line maintenance operations at Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta International Airport. This will allow Lion to conduct line maintenance for airlines flying into Jakarta that may have policies against working with companies that do not have the EASA stamp of approval.
Lion Technic intends to employ eight EASA-certified maintenance personnel from Europe, and they will work with Lion staff in Jakarta to help them ensure they are meeting EASA standards.