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Air Paradise: May and Maybe Not

Air Paradise Says They Will be Fly Again in May, If They Can Find a Plane to Lease.

(3/17/2007) Despite earlier announcements by Air Paradise International (API) executives that they would resume operations in March 2007 [See: Bali's Air Paradise to Fly Again in March 2007] reports in the Indonesian-language Bali Post now say API may take wing in May 2007.

API Director, Oka Semadi, told the press that the only remaining hurdle was finding a suitable aircraft available for charter. According to Semadi, "manpower including cabin crew and even pilots are not a problem."

Buying Time?

Although the operating license from the Government for API is technically in revocation due to the extended period of non-operation, Indonesian civil aviation authorities are withholding a final suspension of operating license for API and 10 other grounded national carriers in order to provide every opportunity for the companies to recoup and resume flight operations.

In order to forestall a final close-down of API, the Company's Directors are filing periodic progress reports with the Department of Civil Aviation, updating the Government on their continue efforts to restart their business.

Seeking Boeing 737-400s

Oka told the Bali Post that API is seeking lease opportunities for a Boeing 737-400 because of the fuel efficiencies offered by that model and the ready accessibility of technical support in Indonesia for the type.

Unfortunately, B-737-400s available for lease in the current market are seemingly few and, as a result, hard to locate.

Wet Versus Dry Lease

API has only been able to identify B-737-400s available for wet lease - a short term lease agreement in which the aircraft registration remains unchanged and all crew, insurance costs remain the responsibility of the aircraft owner. API is seeking a longer-term dry lease contract for a B-737-400 that would permit a change in livery with API assuming responsibility for insurances, crews, maintenance local registration.

Emphasis Will Remain on Safety

Oka underlined that when API finally does resume flight service they will maintain their uncompromising commitment to passenger and flight safety.

As reported earlier on Balidiscovery.com, API is attempting to persuade the Government of Bali to take a 51% share in the airline in order to help it resume services [See: Air Paradise Offers Majority Stake to Bali Government].

Despite a promise to seriously consider API's proposal, no further word has been issued by Bali's Government on the proposed buy-in.