Jakarta. Indonesia’s business jet market has a great potential for growth provided that the archipelagic country has adequate infrastructure -- particularly small airports that can help travelers arrive at their final destination in the shortest possible time, according to French aircraft manufacturer Dassault Aviation.
Industrialization has led to the emergence of many businesses, who later discovered the benefits of the so-called bizjets. These time-saving aircraft can come in handy for business executives in Indonesia, especially those who may need to quickly fly from one island to the other for back-to-back meetings. But an adequate infrastructure is what business aviation needs to truly take off in Indonesia.
“The only brake that currently does not allow more development of business aviation is more of the infrastructure regarding airports and so on than the airplanes themselves,” Dassault Aviation executive vice president for civil aircraft Carlos Brana told the Jakarta Globe in a recent interview.
“Indonesia’s future of aeronautics and industries has the proper people to deal with aeronautics, like pilots, technicians and so on. I have no doubt that there will be additional growth in the future, provided that the infrastructure like airports exists to distribute the business, at least in the main islands,” he added.
Traveling on business jets is all about saving time. Major airports tend to be away from cities. Small airports, however, would allow business jet travelers to get as close as possible to their final destination.
“Of course, business aircraft can land at big airports. But it would be more profitable for the owners of such airplanes, if they can land closer to their final destination, because that is where the time-saving is,” Brana said.
“The good thing with business aviation is that you don’t need to have long runways. The distance needed to take off is shorter for business jets, compared to normal airliners. The shorter fields allow you to have the airports closer to the downtown of the cities.”
Brana talked about Indonesia's plans to relocate its capital from Jakarta to East Kalimantan, and whether it could spur demand for business jets. But according to Brana, the capital relocation itself is not what will create opportunities for the bizjets.
“Let’s suppose that Jakarta stays as Indonesia’s capital. It will not change the fact that industries are developing there and getting more market shares in their [respective sectors],” Brana told the Globe.
“It is not the transfer [of the capital] that generates the opportunities. But the fact that the country itself is more industrialized and that more companies are exporting their products and finding new markets,” Brana said.
During the interview, Brana named Malaysia and Indonesia as the biggest markets for business jets in Southeast Asia.
He also expected the bizjet industry to grow in the next five years, as companies would become more aware of the aircraft’s time-saving capabilities. Business aviation is also not limited to big aircrafts. Smaller jets and pre-owned aircraft are available at a cheaper price.
“With industrialization that we see coming in Southeast Asian countries, I think we have a good future ahead of us,” Brana said.
Dassault is planning to have its long-range Falcon 6X jet enter into service by the end of 2022. The long-range Falcon 10x is also set for entry into service in 2025. Both are classified as ultra-large cabin business jets. When asked about the potential for these two Falcons in Indonesia, Brana said Dassault designed its jets based on the worldwide market.
"So it is not necessarily [specified] for one country, but we understand the people's needs for a specific range to travel from one location or another," Brana said.
Transportation Ministry data shows that Indonesia has 339 airports — a combination of domestic and international airports — spreading across the archipelago. According to the Asian Sky business jet fleet report, Indonesia had 51 business jets at year-end 2020. The fleet size increased by two business jets, marking a 4.1 percent growth rate since the year prior.