TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Presidential Secretariat Head, Heru Budi Hartono, confirmed that the presidential aircraft or Indonesia-1 as President Jokowi's VIP air transportation had been repainted. Previously colored sky blue and white, the Boeing 737-8U3 (BBJ2) was repainted in the color of the national flag; red and white.
“The paint job of the BBJ2 aircraft had been planned since 2019 related to the celebration of the 75th Anniversary of the Independence of the Republic of Indonesia in 2020,” Heru told reporters at the Palace, Tuesday, August 3.
He added that the paint job was a package deal with the Super Puma Heli and the RJ Plane. However, he claimed the repainting could only be done this year as it adjusted to the routine maintenance intervals.
“The routine maintenance of the BBJ 2 aircraft falls in 2021, which is a Check C maintenance according to the manufacturer's recommendations,” Heru said.
Aviation observer Alvin Lie criticized the paint job via his Twitter account @alvinlie21. Moreover, it was executed amid the Covid-19 pandemic. He estimated that the cost was between US$100,000 to US$150,000, or equal to Rp1.4 billion to Rp2.1 billion.
Responding to the criticism, Heru explained that the budget for maintenance and painting of the presidential aircraft had been allocated in the State Budget (APBN) and was carried out in the country.