The CN-235-220 aircraft produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia officially flew in the Himalayan sky, Nepal, on 19 November 2019 after a Final Acceptance Flight from the Government of the Republic of Indonesia to the Nepalese Army. Indonesian Ambassador to Dhaka, whose accreditation territory also doubles Nepal, represented the Indonesian Government at the handover ceremony of the aircraft. The Nepalese Army was represented by Chief of Army Aviation Brigadier General Kumar Rayamajhi. This is the first time for PT Dirgantara Indonesia to export its aircraft to Nepal after the signing of the contract for the procurement of 1 (one) unit of military transport aircraft on 16 June 2017.
“We expect the export of CN-235-220 aircraft to Nepal to continue,” said Indonesian Ambassador to Dhaka, Rina P. Soemarno. “The success of CN-235-220 export proves a massive potential of non-traditional markets in Nepal, especially for Indonesia's strategic industries,” said she.
The CN-235-220 aircraft that will be utilized by the Nepalese Army is very special, as it has 5 quick changeable configurations, including for troops/paratroopers transport, VIP, medical evacuation, passenger transport, and cargo. This multipurpose aircraft also matches with Nepal’s geographical contour which is surrounded by mountains.
Before the handover of the aircraft to the Nepalese Army, a flight-training process was organized by Indonesian pilots for Nepal Army pilot led by Capt. Esther Gayatri Saleh as a test pilot in command and flight instructor. The CN-235-220 aircraft that arrived in Nepal since 2 November 2019 also went through a series of post-delivery inspection processes before officially being handed over to the Nepalese Army.
“The success of the export of CN-235-220 aircraft produced by PT Dirgantara Indonesia is expected to encourage other Indonesian SOEs to target the potentials of Nepal’s market,” Ambassador Soemarno stated. Nepal is currently incessantly developing various sectors, including road infrastructures, trains, international airports, and various infrastructure projects for tourism. “This is a good opportunity for Indonesian SOEs, because if Indonesia is late to expand to Nepal’s market, the country will face a heavier competition in the future,” she explained.
Furthermore, Ambassador Soemarno stated that the Indonesian Embassy continued to encourage the efforts to expand Indonesia’s products to Nepal’s market by strengthening the economic diplomacy. In November 2019, the Indonesian Embassy in Dhaka brought a delegation from SOEs to meet with Nepalese Minister of Industry, Trade, and Procurement as well as Nepalese Head of Investment Board to assess the potentials of Indonesia’s markets and investments in various strategic development projects carried out by the Government of Nepal, Ambassador Soemarno continued.