Bouraq Airlines was established in April 1970 as a privately owned company by Jarry Albert Sumendap, and it stayed in the possession of his family ever since. It was named for al-Buraq, a flying horse in Muslim tradition. Bali Air was another airline owned by Sumendap, which was co-operating with Bouraq. Initially the airline operated Douglas DC-3s. From 1973 the turboprop Hawker Siddeley HS 748 was introduced on Bouraq services.
Both airlines were shut down in 2005 after prolonged financial problems. The last scheduled Bouraq flight took place in July 2005. The airline licence was later revoked in 2007.
Over a year prior to closure, the network had been greatly reduced compared to the 1980s, which was due to the rising financial problems. In the summer of 2004, Bouraq served the following destinations:
On 9 January 1993, a Bouraq Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (registered PH-IHE) crashed near Juanda International Airport, killed 39 passengers and 5 crew on board. The aircraft had just left the airport for a scheduled flight to Banjarmassin, when a failure of one engine was experienced. The pilots tried to return to Juanda Airport, but ultimately failed to do so.
On 6 August 1995, a Bouraq HS 748 (registered PK-KHL) crashed into Mount Kumawa at a height of 2,800 metres, killed 4 passengers and 6 crew on board. The aircraft had been on a chartered flight from Dumatubin Airport to Kaimana Airport.
On 23 January 1976, a Bouraq Hawker Siddeley HS 748 (registered PK-IHD) was damaged beyond repair in a landing accident at Mutiara Airport. None of the 27 passengers and 5 crew on board were seriously injured.
On 9 February 1977, another Bouraq HS 748 (this time registered PH-IHK) had to be written off after a hard landing at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, which caused the landing gear to collapse. Again, there are no reports concerning any injuries of the 46 passengers and 5 crew on board.
On 10 December 1982, the nose gear of a Bouraq HS 748 (registered PH-IHI) collapsed upon landing at Sam Ratulangi International Airport, causing the aircraft to veer off the runway. Even though the plane was destroyed, all of the 42 passengers and three crew survived.
On 4 July 1988, a Bouraq Vickers Viscount (registered PK-IVW) was damaged beyond economic repair when the starboard and nose gear collapsed during a tailwind landing at Sultan Aji Muhammad Sulaiman Airport. There were no notable injuries among the 71 passengers and 5 crew members on board
On 4 January 1989, a Bouraq HS 748 suffered extensive damage when the pilots had to perform a belly landing at Syamsudin Noor Airport, following a failure of the landing gears with 47 passengers and five crew on board.
On 28 August 1992, a Bouraq Vickers Viscount (registered PH-IVX) was destroyed in an engine fire at Syamsudin Noor Airport. The fire started during the take-off run, but the pilots noticed it in time to abort take-off and evacuate the 64 passengers (plus six crew), before the aircraft was engulfed by the flames.
On 26 September 1994, a Bouraq Viscount (registered PK-IVU) was damaged in a landing accident at Pontianak Airport during a ferry flight with only two pilots on board. The aircraft could be repaired and returned to service.
On 11 July 1996 at 09:00 local time, Bouraq lost another HS 748 (registered PK-IHN) in a runway overshot at Pattimura Airport. The pilots had to abort the take-off for a scheduled flight to Manado because of an engine failure, but the remaining length of the runway did not suffice to bring the aircraft to a halt, so that it collided with a dyke. There were no noteworthy injuries amongst the 43 passengers and five crew members.