Mandala Airline Set for April 2012 Re-launch
Indonesia Ministry of Transportation to Issue Air Operating Certificate to Mandala Airlines in February in Preparation for April Start-Up
Bisnis Indonesia reports that the Ministry of Transportation will issue a formal Air Operating Certificate (AOC) to Mandala Airlines in the second week of February 2012.
The head of communications for the Ministry, Bambang S. Ervan, confirmed that the AOC would be issued in conjunction with the arrival in Indonesia of aircraft to be operated by Mandala Airlines.
Mandala Airlines, resurrected from near bankruptcy, is now owned by Saratoga Capital (51%), Tiger Airways Holdings Ltd (33%) and the remaining shares are held by creditors of the airline.
Ministry officials confirmed that the needed AOC would be issued to Mandala in February with formal operations by the airline expected to commence in April 2012. According to Ministry officials, the first aircraft of the Mandala fleet – an Airbus A320 – has already arrived in Indonesia.
Mandala was granted a reprieve by the government when its operating license was extended for four months on January 1, 2012, in order to allow the carrier to get its business affairs in order.
The investment manager of Saratoga Capital, Devin Wirawan, confirmed to the press that Mandala is preparing to meet national regulations that mandate a minimum of 10 aircraft be operated by every Indonesian air carrier, stipulating that the airline must own 5 of the subject aircraft.
Said Wirawan: “There are now two Airbus 320 aircraft that will arrive in Indonesia when the AOC is issued. If we brought the aircraft earlier than that we would incur parking fees.”
He said the routes flown by Mandala when it resumed operations would not vary substantially from the routes operated prior to its closure. Mandala formerly flew 16 domestic routes and four international routes.
The new plans for international flights by Mandala indicate that the reformed airline will concentrate it international flights on Singapore.