The Indonesian language BisnisBali reports that Air Paradise (API) has offered 51% of its shares to the Government of Bali in an effort to secure the estimated Rp. 250 billion (approximately US$27.5 million) needed to restart the airline grounded by financial woes since December 2005.
Convinced that a majority share-holding by the Bali Government would bolster the Airline's battered image, API's Chairman. I Made Wiranatha has presented detailed investment proposal to the Bali Government including projections of profitability within two years. Bali's leaders were offered a controlling 51% share in the airline for Rp. 150 billion (approximately US$16.5 million) with 33% remaining in the hands of Wiranatha and a 16% shareholding by Sri Lankan businessman Sudhahar Sunthaeampillai.
Wiranatha told BisnisBali that he hoped the Government would support API's mission, adding, "Bali needs an independent approach to its main tourism markets, especially now when the number of flights operating to Bali are extremely limited."
Putu Oka Semadi, a Director of API told the press that between 2003 and 2005 the Airline carried 589,407 people to Bali contributing an estimate Rp. 7 trillion (approximately US$769.2 million) to Bali's economy.
Bali officials are remaining non-committal on the investment proposal from API, insisting they need time to study the proposal.
As reported on balidiscovery.com [Bali's Air Paradise to Fly Again in March 2007], API announced in late 2006 their attention to resume flights in March 2007.
While a firm date for the resumption of service still remains unclear, Semadi told BisnisBali that the resumption of flights to Australia will be supported by a domestic network initially connecting Bali to Jakarta, Yogyakarta, Surabaya and Balikpapan using Boeing 737-400 aircraft.
Semadi explained that the "new" API business model which will make the Airline not solely dependent on international passengers by diversifying their flight offerings to include both domestic and international traffic.
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