Business

Batavia Air suffers $123
million debt: Trustees

The trustees appointed to deal with Batavia Air have estimated that the bankrupt airline accrued over Rp 1.2 trillion (US$123.58 million) in debt to several parties including lessors, employees, passengers and business partners.

The magnitude of debt convinced the Central Jakarta Commercial Court to declare the company bankrupt, following the review of a petition by the International Lease Finance Corporation (ILFC) against Batavia Air for failing to pay $4.68 million for two leased Airbus A330s.

Batavia Air is also in debt to state-owned airport operators Angkasa Pura, oil and gas company Pertamina and maintenance, repair, and overhaul (MRO) firm GMFAeroAsia.

Andra Reinhard Pasaribu, one of the trustees, confirmed that the figure was based on recent reports from the management of the carrier.

“We are still in the process of calculating their debts to every creditor, so we do not know the real figure of the debt at the moment,” Andra told The Jakarta Post on Wednesday.

Andra added that the first meeting among the airline’s creditors was scheduled to take place on Feb. 15 at Central Jakarta Commercial Court.

“We encourage all parties to be patient, especially the passengers, because we are still working to find solutions,” he said, adding that the trustees were also calculating the assets of the airline.

Andra added, as of Wednesday, around 500 affected passengers and travel agents had come to his office in Kelapa Gading, North Jakarta to refund their tickets following the cessation of Batavia operations.

The airline halted operations on Jan. 31, in light of the court ruling, leaving thousands of passengers stranded.

The company planned to use the aircraft it had leased to transport Indonesian pilgrims during the haj season. However, the airline failed to win the haj transportation tender offered by the Religious Affairs Ministry because it did not have an exclusive landing permit at King Abdul Aziz Airport in Jeddah, Saudi Arabia and because it did not have enough aircraft to fly the pilgrims.

Separately, Transportation Ministry spokesman Bambang S. Ervan said that low cost carrier Citilink Indonesia was currently proposing four more routes to help transport Batavia passengers.

Bambang said the routes were Jakarta–Balikpapan, Jakarta–Bengkulu, Jakarta–Jambi and Jakarta–Malang.

“The airline proposed the Jakarta–Bengkulu route on Tuesday while the other three routes are being processed at the Directorate General of Air Transportation,” he said, adding that the ministry expected to issue the route permit next week.

In total, he said that 25 out of 48 routes Batavia Air previously operated would be taken over by three carries: Citilink, Mandala and Travel Express.

Citilink secured 67 percent of the routes as the carrier will operate 25 aircraft by the end of March.

Routes that will be taken over include Jakarta–Semarang, Jakarta–Surabaya, Jakarta–Denpasar, Batam–Pontinak, Surabaya–Denpasar, Surabaya–Kupang and Yogyakarta–Pontianak.

Passengers with unused Batavia tickets will be able to fly with the new provider without an additional charge.

Paper Edition | Page: 14

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