Airbus bags Garuda order
JAKARTA, 12 April 2012: European plane manufacturer Airbus and Indonesian carrier Garuda International signed a US$2.5 billion deal Wednesday, as British Prime Minister David Cameron visited Southeast Asia’s biggest economy.
Tom Williams, an executive vice president at Airbus, signed the deal with Garuda director Emirsyah Satar. Garuda said it would purchase 11 Airbus A330-300s under the US$2.5 billion deal.
Cameron, who was at the signing, said Indonesia and Britain would aim to double trade.
“I brought to Jakarta today the strongest delegation of British companies ever to visit Southeast Asia,” he said.
Cameron arrived in Indonesia at midday Wednesday on the latest leg of his trade mission around Asia, along with a group of businessmen, as he looks to offset sluggish growth at home and in the troubled European economy.
Indonesia’s presidential spokesman Teuku Faizasyah told AFP the deal with the airline, which is majority owned by the state, would be the “highlight” of Cameron’s two-day visit.
The agreement is the second in a year between the two after Garuda ordered 25 medium-range A320 Airbus planes for a price of US$2.18 billion.
The latest deal could help Garuda rebuild its damaged image, less than two years after the EU lifted a ban on the airline operating in European airspace over safety fears.
It is also positive news for Airbus, which has only secured firm orders for 90 planes in the first quarter of 2012, compared with more than 400 for US rival Boeing.
In February, Indonesian carrier Lion Air formally signed a US$22.4 billion deal for 230 Boeing aircraft, the single largest contract in commercial aviation history.
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