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Saved from Extinction by a Tiger

Mandala Airlines to Fly Again Under a Deal Struck with Singapore's Tiger Airways and Indonesia's Saratoga Group.

(5/21/2011) The Jakarta Globe reports that Indonesia's Mandala Airline has been rescued from oblivion by Tiger Airways of Singapore the Saratoga Group - an Indonesian strategic investment company.

Tiger Airways announced the deal via the Singapore Stock Exchange on Thursday, May 19, 2011, under a deal that see Tiger take control of 33% of Mandala's shares and the Saratoga Group assuming a majority shareholding of 51%. Under the deal, 15% of the remaining shares are in the hands of creditors and the remaining 1% with Cardig International who co-founded the Airline.

Tiger Airways told the Singapore exchange that the re-launched Mandala will fly Airbus A320 aircraft on domestic Indonesian air routes.

Sandiaga Uno, the founder of Saratoga Group, said he is bullish on the deal, believing the Indonesian aviation sector still held plenty growth potential. Adding, "by partnering with Tiger Airways, an established Asian low-cost carrier, the new Mandala will be able to leverage on Tiger's existing infrastructure, resume flying quickly and offer reliable and affordable services to its customers."

Mandala ceased operations in January, unable to address Rp. 2.4 trillion (US$281 million) in debt. Averting bankruptcy by converting debt into equity, Mandala began a search for a suitable partner who could provide both the capital and the aircraft to resume flight operations.

Indonesian law requires that all scheduled commercial airlines must maintain an armada of 10 aircraft, 5 of which are owned by the airline.

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