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Five Iconic Indonesian Airlines That Eventually Went Bankrupt

Batavia Air A319

In the aviation industry, competition is fierce. Specifically, the issue with airline services and facilities. Some Indonesian airlines have been successful in expanding its international schedule. However, some of them were forced to close because they were unable to compete with other airlines. Here are the insolvent Indonesian airlines, as reported by merdeka.com from a variety of sources: What factors are contributing?

Adam Air

Adam SkyConnection Airlines had become the most popular flight due to its low price. On 19 December 2003, the airline began operations with a flight to Balikpapan using two chartered Boeing 737s. They claim to use a “new Boeing 737-400,” but it turns out to be a charter plane that is 15 years old.

However, numerous accidents befell this airline. The government issued the airline a warning. According to the results of the ranking released on March 22, 2007, Adam Air was ranked third, indicating that it only meets the minimum safety requirements and that several unimplemented requirements have the potential to reduce flight safety.

In response, Adam Air was issued administrative sanctions that were reviewed every three months. After three months of no performance improvement, Adam Air’s Air Operator Certificate was subsequently revoked.

Batavia Air

Yudidiwan founded PT Metro Batavia in 2001. On January 5, 2002, the airline began operations with one Fokker F28 and two Boeing 737-200 aircraft. Prior to beginning commercial operations, Batavia rented aircraft.

Batavia Air was once Indonesia’s premier airline. They lead to a market with standard middle-class services that are neither inexpensive nor executive. Due to its high safety guarantee, the airline was also permitted to fly in the European Union. This permit is also held by Garuda Indonesia and Lion Air.

Since its founding ten years ago, Batavia has had only eight minor accidents that did not result in any fatalities. Ultimately, Batavia was unable to develop and closed.

Bouraq Airlines

The airline was founded by Jarry Albert Sumendap in April 1970. This family-owned business also owns Bali Air, which is no longer in operation.

Initially, the airline used Douglas DC-3 aircraft. The Hawker Siddeley HS 748 turboprop entered service with Bouraq in 1973.

Both airlines ceased operations in 2005 due to protracted financial difficulties. The final Bouraq flight was expected to occur in July 2005. In 2007, the operator’s license was revoked.

Sempati Air

Sempati Air is an Indonesian airline owned by Suharto’s friends and family (former President of Indonesia). The airline was founded as PT Sempati Air Transport in December 1968.

In March of 1969, Sempati made its first flight using a DC-3 aircraft. Initially, Sempati only provided transportation services to oil company employees. However, following the acquisition of additional DC-3 and Fokker F27 aircraft, Sempati began regularly scheduled service to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur, and Manila.

In 1996, the company’s name was changed to Sempati Air. When the 1998 financial crisis hit Indonesia, Sempati Air was forced to sell or return its aircraft, but the company was still forced to cease operations in June 1998. This airline has ceased operations as of June 5, 1998. SpiceJet, an Indian airline, currently uses the IATA code formerly employed by Sempati Air.

Mandala Airlines

On April 17, 1969, this airline, also known as Tigerair Mandala, began operations. In 2006, it was acquired by Indigo Partners and Cardig International.

However, the airline was forced to cease operations on January 12, 2011, due to debt issues. In June 2011, Mandala resumed operations after creditors agreed to restructure its debt into shares in the same year.

In accordance with the restructuring, the majority shareholders are PT Saratoga Investment Group (51%), Tiger Airways from Singapore (33%), as well as former shareholders and creditors (16 percent). Nonetheless, Mandala ceased operations on July 1, 2014, due to deteriorating market conditions and rising operating expenses caused by the depreciation of the rupiah.

Putu Deny Wijaya


  • Putu Deny Wijaya

    Putu Deny Wijaya was always an aviation enthusiast by heart, growing up in Indonesia where air transport is very vital. His first love is The Queen of The Skies, serving the trunk routes between Jakarta and Denpasar. He brought along this passion with him throughout college by conducting his bachelor study abroad in the Netherlands for the purpose of experiencing a nonstop 14-hour long-haul flight. For Putu the sky's the limit when talking about aviation. He hopes that he would be able to combine his passion for aviation and knowledge of finance at the same time.

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