Eventually, PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines can resume its operations after 10 State-Owned Enterprises (SOEs) synergized to help it be active again. Garuda Indonesia along with nine other SOEs synergized to form a strategic partnership in a bid to restructure the business of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines. The cooperation agreement includes collaboration in the field of air cargo services, ground-handling, overhaul maintenance, and training centers. The cooperation agreement was signed directly by President Director of PT Garuda Indonesia (Persero) Tbk, Ari Askhara, Managing Director of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Asep Ekanugraha, and directors of nine other SOEs in Jakarta, Wednesday (10/16/2019).
PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines has ceased operations since February 1, 2014. This is due to Merpati's debt to a number of creditors, which reached Rp10.72 trillion.
PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines had experienced its golden time in 1989-1992. At that time, Merpati had various types of aircraft, from jets to small-sized propeller planes, which totaled 100 aircraft. With a considerable number of fleets at the time, Merpati controlled pioneer flights in Indonesia. Short-distance routes to remote areas could be controlled by Merpati. The airline operated on the routes that were considered uneconomical.
At the time, Merpati's performance was strengthened by the synergy with Garuda Indonesia. Merpati served as a Garuda Indonesia feeder to serve flights to all corners of the country. During its golden time, PT Merpati also served international flights: to the United States and Australia. For the United States, Merpati had served Biak-Honolulu-Los Angeles route.
At present, the aviation business in Indonesia has developed rapidly and is able to increase human mobility efficiently and has proven to contribute positively to the regional economy. Unfortunately, access to remote areas and remote islands is still limited, considering the implementation of pioneering flights has not been optimal.
With the re-operation of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, of course, access to remote areas and remote islands is increasingly open. Certainly, the re-operation of PT Merpati will support the efforts of the Indonesian government to build connectivity across Indonesia.