Merpati Nusantara Airlines
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|Founded||6 September 1962|
|Ceased operations||5 February 2014|
|Hubs||Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
Ngurah Rai International Airport
Juanda International Airport
|Frequent-flyer program||Merpati EasyFlyer|
|Company slogan||The Air Bridge of Indonesia|
|Headquarters||Central Jakarta, Jakarta, Indonesia|
|Key people||Capt. Asep Ekanugraha - CEO|
PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, operating as Merpati Nusantara Airlines, was an airline in Indonesia based in Central Jakarta, Jakarta. It was a major domestic airline operating scheduled services to more than 25 destinations in Indonesia, as well as scheduled international services to East Timor and Malaysia. Its main base was Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta. The word merpati is Indonesian for "dove", and Nusantara is a Javanese word found in the Pararaton ("the Book of Kings", probably written in the 16th century) and meaning "the outer islands" and now referring to the Indonesian archipelago. Merpati is also listed in category 1 by Indonesian Civil Aviation Authority for airline safety quality and plans to get IATA Operational Safety Audit (IOSA) from International Air Transport Association. It had a maintenance facility based at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya  as well as a simulator facility at the Merpati Training Centre in Surabaya which housed a Fokker F-27, AVIC MA60 and CN-235 full motion simulators.
The airline was established and started operations on 6 September 1962. It was set up by the Indonesian government as the second state airline, with the main objective of taking over the network of domestic services developed by the Air Force since 1958. During 1962, it also took over the routes in West Irian (formerly Dutch New Guinea) previously operated by KLM subsidiary, De Kroonduif, which had been flown by Garuda since 1962.
With a start up capital of 10 million rupiah, Merpati began operations in Kalimantan, using a fleet of four de Havilland Otter/DHC-3s and two DC-3 Dakotas provided by the Indonesian Air Force (TNI AU). Pilots and technicians were supplied by the Indonesian Air Force, Garuda Indonesia Airways and other civil aviation companies. Its mission, defined by the government, was to become an 'air bridge' linking remote areas of Indonesia and thereby helping to build the economies of such regional areas. The air bridge theme is the basis of the current Merpati logo, displayed on the tails of its aircraft.
The first Managing Director appointed was Air Commodore Sutoyo Adiputro Henk (1962–1966) who had an initial staff of 17 people. In 1963, the airline expanded its routes to include Jakarta - Tanjung Karang (Bandar Lampung), Jakarta - Semarang, and Jakarta - Balikpapan. In 1964, the airline took over operations from NV de Kroonduif Garuda, increasing its aircraft fleet to 12. With the addition of three DC-3 Dakotas, two DHC-6 Twin Otters and 1 DHC-2 Beaver, Merpati began to grow, with operations now reaching Sumatra, Papua and Nusa Tenggara Barat. Further expansion saw the addition of more aircraft, including three Dornier DO-28s and six Pilatus Porter PC-6s, and staff numbers growing to 583 people.
In October 1978, the airline was taken over by Garuda, but continued to operate under its own name. Merpati was integrated into the Garuda Indonesia Group in September 1989, but was granted government permission to separate in 1993, although the split did not actually take place until April 1997. The airline was jointly owned by the Indonesian Government (93.2%) and Garuda Indonesia (6.8%).
In June 2011, the Merpati commercial director stated that the airline was opening a tender for 15 jet airliners, including 40 aircraft with a capacity of 50 passengers and 20 additional aircraft carrying 20 passengers, such as the MA-60, the NC-212 or DHC-6 Twin Otter. The following month, with the airline suffering from financial difficulties, the government and the legislature agreed to provide a capital injection of Rp.516 billion ($60.7 million) to Merpati Nusantara Airlines in the 2012 state budget.
Merpati suspended all services in early February 2014 due to cashflow problems, including an inability to obtain fuel on credit, obliging the company to pay cash. On July 24 2014 it was reported that the Indonesian Ministry of Finance had decided not to reopen the company following the airlines' accumulating a debt of 7.9 trillion Rp, as well as the failure of a debt-to-equity-swap plan proposed by the company.
The Merpati fleet included the following aircraft (as of December 2013):
|De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter||5||—||0||20||20||Domestic|
|Total||25||40||Last updated: March 2014|
- 1 ATR 72. Left the fleet in early December 2010.
- 1 Airbus A300. Registered as PK-MAY, named Prambanan Temple 
- 2 Airbus A310. Registered as PK-MAW and PK-MAX.
- 1 BAe 146: Registered as PK-MTA.
- 2 BAe ATP: Used as Bridging Aircraft awaiting the Indonesian Aerospace N-250 entry to commercial service.
- 2 Boeing 707-120B:With this aircraft, Merpati became the first Indonesian airline to fly to the United States, for Hajj-Flight (Leased from Pan Am
- 1 Boeing 707-320C
- 2 Boeing 727: Registered as PK-MBV and PK-MBW.
- 15 Boeing 737-200
- 7 Boeing 737-400
- 2 Boeing 737-300
- 3 Douglas DC-9: Donated by Garuda Indonesia
- 3 de Havilland Canada DHC-6-300 Twin Otter
- 3 Fokker 100
- 2 Fokker F27 Mk.500
- 22 Fokker F28 Mk.4000: Some of Merpati's F28s were donated by Garuda Indonesia
- 5 Fokker F27 Mk.500F
- 10 CASA/IPTN CN-235-10
- 5 Indonesian Aerospace 212-200
- 1 Lockheed L-100-30 Hercules: Donated by Pelita Air.
- 5 Vickers Vanguard
- Unknown number of Vickers Viscount: One of the Merpati's Vickers Viscount (PK-MNM "Merauke") is Hijacked on 1972 by a marine deserter, which was shot dead by the pilot which was a member of air force. This is the first hijacking on Indonesian Airline (Garuda Indonesia Flight 206 Hijacking happened in 1981).
Merpati Training Centre
Merpati Training Centre is a division of Strategic Business Unit and is one of the largest aviation training centres in Indonesia. It conducts ground school courses for pilots, flight attendants, flight operation officers (dispatchers), commercial airline operations and administration staff in the region. The training centre was originally founded in 1994 and known as 'Flight Safety Training' training initially Merpati's own staff, but later changed its name to the Merpati Training Centre (MTC) in 1999. Some of MTC's clients includes the national airline, Garuda Indonesia, Sriwijaya Air, Batavia Air, Lion Air, Pelita Air Service among others.
Courses conducted by the MTC include type rating courses for pilots, flight attendants and flight operation officers on the Boeing 737 Classic, AVIC Xian MA60, Fokker F27, CASA CN-235, DHC-6 Twin Otter, CASA C-212 Aviocar, as well as other ground courses including Dangerous Goods Awareness, Airline Transport Pilot License (ATPL) theory, Cockpit Resources Management (CRM), Reduced Vertical Separation Minimum (RVSM), Approach and Landing Accident Reduction (ALAR), Safety Management Systems (SMS), Aviation Security (AVSEC) and Windshear Avoidance.
MTC has two campuses located in Jakarta and Surabaya. MTC's Jakarta campus is located on 11th Floor of the Merpati Building in Kemayoran, whereas the Surabaya campus is located at Juanda International Airport.
Merpati Pilot School
On 16 February 2010, the Merpati Pilot School, a department of the MTC, was officially launched at Surabaya's Juanda International Airport. The flying school was awarded its Part 141 certification from the Directorate General of Civil Aviation on 18 August 2009 and currently has a fleet of four Cessna C172s, registered PK-MSA, PK-MSH, PK-MSN and PK-MST. Ground school for cadet pilots are conducted at the Merpati Training Centre in Surabaya, and flight training is conducted from Budiarto Airport, Curug (near Jakarta) as well as Trunojoyo Airport, Sumenep on the island of Madura. Flight Instructors at Merpati Pilot School are all current line pilots with Merpati Nusantara Airlines each with thousands of hours flying experience.
Accidents and incidents
- On 10 November 1971, Vickers Viscount PK-MVS crashed into the sea 75 miles (121 km) off Sumatra killing all 69 people on board.
- On 5 April 1972, a Vickers Viscount was the subject of an attempted hijacking. The hijacker was killed.
- On 7 February 1977, a Douglas C-47A PK-NDH was damaged beyond economic repair in a landing accident at Tanjung Santan Airport.
- On 5 October 1978, a Douglas C-47A PK-NDI caught fire whilst parked at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali and was destroyed.
- On 1 July 1993, Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 724, a Fokker F28 registered as PK-GFU, ditched into the sea off Sorong, West Papua after striking high ground. 41 people were drowned in the incident. 2 people were injured.
- On 30 November 1994, Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 422, a Fokker F28 overran the runway at Achmad Yani International Airport with no casualties among the 85 on board.
- On 10 January 1995, Flight 6715, a de Havilland Canada DHC-6, went missing over the Molo Strait. All 14 people on board were likely killed. Investigators suspected that an explosion occurred on the lower cargo compartment.
- On 7 September 1997, a CASA 212 registered as PK-NCS slammed onto terrain while on approach to Pattimura Airport in Ambon. All 3 people on board were killed.
- On 2 August 2009, Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 9760, a de Havilland Canada DHC-6 crashed on the island of New Guinea, about 14 miles (23 km) north of Oksibil. All 16 people on board were killed.
- On 3 December 2009, a Fokker 100 PK-MJD made an emergency landing at El Tari Airport, Kupang when the left main gear failed to extend. There were no injuries among the passengers and crew.
- On 7 May 2011, a Xian MA60 PK-MZK, operating on the Sorong-Kaimana route, crashed in the sea killing all 27 people on board.
- On 3 December 2011, a CASA C-212 Aviocar passenger plane sustained substantial damage in a landing accident at Larat-Watidar Airport, Indonesia. There were three crew members and 19 passengers on board. Two passengers suffered minor injuries.
- On 10 June 2013, a Xian MA60 PK-MZO, operating Flight 6517 from Bajawa to Kupang with 50 people on board, crash-landed at Kupang airport in East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. One passenger was injured. The aircraft, which has been damaged beyond repair, lay on its belly on the runway with its engines jammed face down into the tarmac and its wings bent forward.
Following Merpati's financial troubles and inability to pay its employees salary or benefits for three consecutives months, 50 out of 178 pilots resigned.
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