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Air Paradise Still Yearning to Fly

Kadek Wiranatha Still Wants Bali to Buy a 50% Share in his Failed Airline.

(8/16/2008) Tempo Interaktif reports that Bali businessman Made Wiranatha remains dauntless in his efforts to revive his failed airlines Air Paradise and continues to lobby the provincial government of Bali to invest in his Bali-owned carrier that ceased operations in the wake of the 2005 Bali bombing.

Wiranatha told reporters in Bali on August 14, 2008, that he is seeking around Rp. 250 billion (US$27.2 million) to secure a minimum of three airplanes to commence flight operations. He also told the press that he is hopeful that Bali's newly elected governor, Made Pastika, will support the existence of a Bali-owned and Bali-based international airline.

In March 2007, Wiranatha offered a 50% stake in his airline to the Government of Bali; an offer that remains unanswered to this day.

According to Wiranatha, it is high time that Bali has its own, professionally managed airline to reduce dependency on outside carriers. "Kadek" Wiranatha, who owns a number of tourism related enterprises, said that Bali is currently experiencing the best tourism flows in its history. He insisted that Bali is now at its best both in terms of quality and quantity - with tourism spending continuing to increase.

Kadek's view is that Bali needs an airline to establish direct flight services with key potential markets in China, Russia, India and the Middle East.

Air Paradise commenced operation on February 16, 2003, serving flights between Bali and Sydney, Brisbane, Adelaide, Melbourne, Perth, Korea and Japan. The airline suddenly ceased operations on November 23, 2005, as the result of the sudden drop in passengers following the second Bali bombing in October 2005.

Should the provincial government of Bali decide to invest in Air Paradise it is unclear if the suspended operating license from the Indonesian government can be reinstituted by the Indonesian civil aviation authorities.