Aero Dili Receives Timor Leste’s First Commercial Aicraft: An Airbus A320

It’s official, Aero Dili (8G – Aero Dili Transport Service S.A) has received its first Airbus A320 on a two-year lease from DAE Capital. The carrier plans to inaugurate international services, with a connection to Bali Ngurah Rai International Airport (DPS) commencing soon.

Timor-Leste, officially the Democratic Republic of Timor-Leste, is a former Portuguese colony located on the eastern side of the island of Timor, which is shared with Indonesia. The country has a population of over one million and relies heavily on international aid.

The capital, Dili, is home to the nation’s main international airport, Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport (DIL), which handles a small number of domestic and international operations.

International aspirations

Aero Dili’s ‘new’ 14-year-old A320 previously flew for Bangkok Airways, where the aircraft was retired from its fleet in 2022 before heading to Jakarta earlier this year for a revamp, including its new Aero Dili livery. The aircraft has been reconfigured to carry 165 passengers. East Timor holds the aircraft registration prefix 4W, which this A320 will carry 4W-AAL.

Mid-March saw Aero Dili secure its certificate of registration (COR) and its certificate of airworthiness (COA), granted by the Civil Aviation Authority of Timor-Leste (AACTL). As reported by ch-aviation, Aero Dili’s President Director, Lourenco de Oliveira, commented:

“Aero Dili has successfully obtained its own Airbus A320 aircraft,

”I’d like to take this moment to say that the efforts are not mine alone. It has involved many people with the same dream as mine – developing Timor-Leste’s airline industry.”

Photo: Aero Dili

The airline’s international operations have predominantly been as a virtual carrier, wet leasing aircraft from Indonesia AirAsia and Sriwijaya Air. With the airline now having its own A320, it hopes to improve the nation’s connectivity. Aero Dili’s President de Oliveira has noted the airline’s slogan as ‘Build the Nation,’ building connectivity to the country. As reported by ch-aviation, de Oliveria said the airline’s aspirations:

“I am very happy. It is a source of pride and a dream that has come true,”

Now we are going to start on the 28th [of March] with regular routes, to Indonesia every day but also to Singapore. We are negotiating with Australia to be able to operate flights to that country as well. The moment has come for Timor-Leste to have its [own] aircraft and stop depending on foreign nations.”

Aero Dili’s fleet

The addition of its A320 takes the Aero Dili fleet to three, complementing the Cessna 207 and Cessna 172 the airline has on hand. It’s currently using these smaller aircraft on its domestic routes to Suai Airport (UAI), Oecusse Airport (OEC), and Baucau Airport (BCH).

Aero Dili 3

Photo: Aero Dili

International connectivity at Dili

East Timor relies on international flights to Presidente Nicolau Lobato International Airport (DIL), located west of the nation’s capital. Current international flights are offered by:

  • Airnorth to Darwin (DRW)
  • Air Timor to Kupang (KOE) and Singapore (SIN)


Source: ch-aviation

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