50 Merpati pilots resign
over unpaid salaries

Fifty pilots employed by PT Merpati Nusantara Arlines have resigned their positions because the company, which currently faces massive debt, has failed to pay their salaries and other benefits for three consecutive months.

“Currently 50 out of the firm's 178 pilots have resigned,” Merpati Pilot Association (APM) head Capt. RD Sardjito said in Jakarta on Friday.

He acknowledged that he deeply regretted seeing so many of his colleagues leave, but added: “We totally acknowledge that we can’t prohibit them from using their skills to make a decent living”.

Merpati is currently struggling to settle its colossal debt, which now amounts to Rp 6 trillion. The government, via the State-Owned Enterprises Ministry, finally decided to temporarily halt the airline's operations to prevent even greater losses. It has been estimated, however, that the airline could become operational again in one to two months' time. (atw)

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