Merpati Nusantara Airlines

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Merpati logo.svg
IATA ICAO Callsign
  • 6 September 1962 (first Merpati)
  • 11 November 2019 (re-launch Merpati)
Commenced operations6 September 1962 (first Merpati)
Ceased operations1 February 2014 (first Merpati)
HubsNgurah Rai International Airport
Juanda International Airport
Focus citiesSoekarno-Hatta International Airport
Fleet size39
HeadquartersSurabaya, Indonesia
Key peopleCapt. Asep Ekanugraha - CEO

PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines, operating as Merpati Nusantara Airlines, was an airline in Indonesia based in Central Jakarta, Jakarta. It operated scheduled domestic services to more than 25 destinations in Indonesia, as well as scheduled international services to East Timor and Malaysia. 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) meaning "the outer islands”, referring to the Indonesian archipelago. The airline was based at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakarta.[1] It also maintained both a maintenance and simulator facility at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya.[2] The Merpati Training Centre at Surabaya housed Fokker F-27, AVIC MA60 and CN-235 full motion simulators.

All services were suspended in 2014 due to financial and regulatory issues.


A Merpati Nusantara Vickers Vanguard 953 in 1977

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.[3] 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.[4]

In February 2014, due to the airline's inability to pay its employees salary or benefits for three consecutive months, many pilots and cabin crew resigned.[5] The same month, Merpati suspended all services due to cashflow problems, including an inability to obtain fuel on credit, obliging the company to pay cash.[6] On 24 July 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.[7]

In late 2016 the Ministry of State Owned Enterprises stated that the airline might be able to resume commercial flights in 2017 following a restructuring plan and government cash injection.[8]

On 14 November 2018, The Panel of Judges of the Commercial Court decided to approve the peace proposal of PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines with its creditors held at the District Court (PN), Surabaya, East Java. Thus, PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines was declared not bankrupt.[9]

Corporate affairs[edit]

The airline's headquarters were in Central Jakarta.[10][11] Previously, the airline had been based out of Kemajoran Airport.[12]



Previous fleet[edit]

The Merpati fleet included the following aircraft prior to its suspension (as of January 2014):[13]

Merpati's Boeing 737-200/adv at Adisucipto International Airport, Yogyakarta.
Merpati's MA60, PK-MZJ parked at El Tari Airport, Kupang, in January 2011
As of 2011, Merpati no longer operates the ATR 72-200 since the arrival of its newer MA60.
Merpati Nusantara Airlines Fleet
Aircraft In Fleet Orders Passengers Routes Notes
C Y Total
Boeing 737-300 3 8 126 134 Domestic
Boeing 737-400 2 16 142 158 All
Boeing 737-500 1 0 118 118 All
Comac ARJ21-700 0 40 0 118 118
De Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 5 0 20 20 Domestic
Xian MA60 14 0 56 56 Domestic
Total 25 40 Last updated: March 2014
Merpati Nusantara Airlines Fleet (2019 Future after Relaunch)
Aircraft In Fleet On Order Passengers Routes Notes
C Y Total
Irkut MC-21 0 10+ TBA Unknown Ordered by PT Intra Asia Corpora, Scheduled to be Delivered and Active Service at 2019[14]

Fleet development[edit]

In 2012, Merpati announced that it would take delivery of Airbus A320 aircraft in 2014, but due to cash problems, this proposal for abandoned. However, due to a recent restructuring plan and government cash injection, Merpati is hoping to relaunch its operations by the end of 2017, or early 2018, most likely using Boeing 737-700 or Boeing 737-800 aircraft. However, this plan was then cancelled once again as it decided to order other aircraft types instead.

In 2018 Merpati Nusantara signed a letter of intent for 10 Irkut MC-21-300 aircraft.[15]

Former fleet[edit]

Merpati Lockheed TriStar at Perth Airport (late 1990s).
Merpati Airbus A310-300 at Perth Airport (late 1990s).

Merpati Training Center[edit]

Merpati Training Center 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 founded in 1994 and known as 'Flight Safety Training' training initially Merpati's own staff, but later changed its name to the Merpati Training Center (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[edit]

Merpati Pilot School's Cessna 172, PK-MSH at Juanda International Airport, Surabaya

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[edit]

  • 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.[18]
  • On 7 February 1977, a Douglas C-47A PK-NDH was damaged beyond economic repair in a landing accident at Tanjung Santan Airport.[19]
  • On 5 October 1978, a Douglas C-47A PK-NDI caught fire whilst parked at Ngurah Rai International Airport, Bali and was destroyed.[20]
  • On 18 October 1992, Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 5601, a CASA/IPTN CN-235 crashed into Mount Papandayan killing all 31 passengers and crew on board including Merpati's only female pilot at the time.
  • 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.[21]
  • 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.[22]
  • 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.[23]
  • 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.[24]
  • 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.[25]
  • On 7 May 2011, Merpati Nusantara Airlines Flight 8968, a Xian MA60 PK-MZK, operating on the Sorong-Kaimana route, crashed in the sea killing all 25 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.[26]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "Directory: World Airlines". Flight International. 10 April 2007. p. 49.
  2. ^ ": MMF International". Archived from the original on 14 October 2013. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  3. ^‘bridge-archipelago’.html
  4. ^ [1] Archived 7 July 2011 at the Wayback Machine
  5. ^ "50 Merpati pilots resign over unpaid salaries". 7 February 2014.
  6. ^ Camelia Pasandaran (3 February 2014). "Merpati Flights Grounded as Airline Struggles to Take Off Under Weight of Debt". The Jakarta Globe.
  7. ^ developer, metrotvnews. "Waduh, Merpati Akan Ditutup".
  8. ^ "Merpati Nusantara Airlines". Airliner World (December 2016): 19.
  9. ^ "PPA: Maskapai Merpati Diputuskan Tak Pailit - Bisnis". Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  10. ^ "Directory: World airlines." Flight International. 30 March-5 April 2004. 39 (Archive). "Jalan Angkasa Blok B-15, Kav 2-3, Jakarta, 10720, Indonesia."
  11. ^ "Merpati Akan Terbang ke Sampit Archived 18 November 2010 at the Wayback Machine." Merpati Nusantara Airlines. 24 April 2007. Retrieved on 16 September 2010. "Penandatanganan MoU yang dilakukan di Kantor Pusat Merpati Jalan Angkasa Jakarta Pusat"
  12. ^ Flight International. 6 May 1971. p. 636 (Archive). "Head Office: Djalan Patrice Lumumba, Kemajoran Airport, Djakarta, Indonesia."
  13. ^ "Merpati". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  14. ^ Subiantoro, Raydion. "Ini Dia Irkut MC-21, Pesawat Rusia yang akan Dipakai Merpati". news. Retrieved 14 November 2018.
  15. ^ "MC-21 Scores New Orders". Airliner World. October 2019: 17.
  16. ^ "Kuwait Airways 9K-AHI (Airbus A300 - MSN 344) (Ex PK-MAY ) | Airfleets aviation". Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  17. ^ "Merpati Fleet of A310 (History) | Airfleets aviation". 23 March 1997. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  18. ^ "Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 8 October 2009.
  19. ^ "PK-NDH Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 4 August 2010.
  20. ^ "PK-NDI Accident description". Aviation Safety Network. Retrieved 1 August 2010.
  21. ^ "DATABASE".
  22. ^ "Aviation Safety Network Flight 422". 30 November 1994. Retrieved 15 November 2013.
  23. ^ "ASN Aircraft accident de Havilland Canada DHC-6 Twin Otter 300 PK-NUK Molo Strait". 10 January 1995. Retrieved 14 October 2013.
  24. ^ Hradecky, Simon. "Crash: Merpati DHC6 aircraft impacted mountain." Aviation Herald, 16 October 2009. Retrieved: 15 May 2010.
  25. ^ "Merpati Air Plane Passengers Unharmed In Emergency Landing". Bernama. Retrieved 4 December 2009.
  26. ^ "Retrieved 10 Junde 2013". 10 June 2013. Retrieved 15 November 2013.

External links[edit]