Home' Asian Aviation : AAV April 2011 Contents General News
Merpati denies bankruptcy risk
Indonesia's state-owned Merpati Nusantara Airlines -- weighed down
with debt of 1.9 trillion rupiah (US$214.68 million) and with creditors
chasing it for payment -- has denied that it is heading for bankruptcy.
The cash-strapped carrier has approached the Indonesian
government through the Ministry of Finance (MOF) in Jakarta in the
hope of obtaining 600 billion rupiah to support day-to-day operations.
An MOT official, who asked to remain anonymous, says the
government cannot keep bailing the airline out each time it asks.
Still, Merpati's President Director Sardjono Jhony Tjitrokusumo
dismisses the idea that the airline may go bankrupt. "We may be in
debt, but we will pull through the storm," Sardjono says. He adds that
the 600 billion rupiah requested is in fact needed as part payment for
new aircraft to be acquired, declining to elaborate.
According to Merpati Workers Union Chairperson Indra Topan, the
carrier is having difficulty keeping up fuel payments to state-owned
oil company Pertamina. The company has warned Merpati that it will
stop supplying fuel to the airline if it continues to ignore requests for
the payment of outstanding bills. Airport management and air traffic
services company PT Angkasa Pura is another big creditor of the
Merpati moved its base from Jakarta to Surabaya last year, as part
of a restructuring drive. The carrier's workforce of 2,500 was trimmed
to 1,300 and its international flights to Penang, Kuala Lumpur and
Singapore were halted.
From 84 aircraft in December 2008, the fleet has now been scaled
down to 31, including nine Chinese-made Xian MA60 turboprops,
one of which has been grounded for repairs since January at El Tari
Airport in Kupang.
Most of the aircraft from the 2008 fleet have been parked at
airports across the country, without maintenance support to keep
them airworthy. Merpati is 93.2 percent owned by the government
and 6.8 percent by flag carrier Garuda Indonesia. -- William Dennis
Gulfstream completes G250
natural icing tests
Business jet manufacturer Gulfstream Aerospace said on 22 March that
its second G250 flight-test aircraft has successfully completed natural
icing tests as it approaches certification later this year from US and Israeli
Aircraft serial number 2002 (S/N 2002) left its base in Israel in February,
crossed the Atlantic and landed in Smyrna, Tennessee, where it spent
several weeks flying to the Great Lakes region, seeking natural icing
According to Gulfstream, the aircraft successfully completed the test
points required for certification, including allowing ice to build up on
unprotected surfaces and verifying stability and control characteristics.
Ice protection systems and tolerance of the aircraft after 45 minutes'
exposure to icing were also evaluated.
"The G250 performed exceptionally well," says Pres Henne,
Gulfstream's senior vice-president for programmes, engineering and test.
"During one particular flight, the crew encountered icing concentrations
in excess of the regulatory design envelope. The aircraft remained in this
condition for an equivalent icing exposure time of more than 50 minutes
to allow adequate accumulation of ice. Despite the extremely demanding
conditions and ice accumulation on all untreated surfaces, the aircraft
S/N 2002 will now undergo overnight cold-soak trials, having already
completed a similar test in Finland. The aircraft has also completed hot-
weather testing on the coast of the Red Sea. -- Andrzej Jeziorski
The second G250 test aircraft sought out natural icing
conditions in the US Great Lakes region.
AsianAviation | APRIL 2011 9
Links Archive AAV March 2011. AAV May 2011 Navigation Previous Page Next Page