Increasing dark clouds are gathering over the State-owned airline Merpati Nusantara and its prospects of returning to service following its February 1 “temporary” cessation of flights.
Tempo reports that the Transportation Ministry is preparing to revoke the Air Operating Certificate (AOC) of Merpati Nusantara,
The ministry will put a one-year “freeze” on Merpati’s AOC and only allow it to resume flights after it can present a persuasive plan that would eventually return the airline to fiscal health.
If, after one year, Merpati was still grounded the Ministry would take steps to revoke its Air Transportation Business Permit (SIUAU).
Plans are already underway to begin distributing air routes once flown by Merpati to other Indonesian national carriers.
Adding to the grimness of Merpati’s future prospects are reports that 50 of the airline’s 228 pilots have resigned their jobs after remaining unpaid for several months prior to the shutdown.
Also reportedly unpaid are substantial fuel and insurance bills.
Merpati first commenced operation on September 6, 1962.
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