Merpati Suspends Operations Before Amagedon

Merpati Nusantara Airlines (MNA) has temporarily suspended ticket sales and plans to suspend operations for at least one month, according to reports. The Jakarta Globe says the cash-strapped low-cost carrier has partnered PT Bentang Persada Gemilang and PT Amagedon Indonesia, following the signing of a memorandum of understanding with Merpati's owner, the Indonesian state. Dahlan Iskan, Indonesia's minister for state-owned enterprises, reportedly said the partnership would result in the creation of a new subsidiary, PT Merpati Aviation Service. He added this would carry out all business expansion plans prepared by the two joint operation partners. Bentang will serve flights to eastern part of Indonesia, while Amagedon will focus on the western part. The Jakarta Globe also said that MNA is likely to redeploy its fleet of 13 MA-60s to the east of the country, while four 737s are set to be returned to their lessors shortly. Reports claim the airline has $492m in debt to airport operators Angkasa Pura I and Angkasa Pura II among others, and the Indonesian government sees the restructuring as a solution to Merpati’s persistent viability problems.

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