Sempati Air

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Sempati Air
IATA ICAO Callsign
SG (IATA later Transferred to Spicejet) SSR SPIROW
Founded16 December 1968
Commenced operationsMarch 1969
Ceased operations5 June 1998
Operating basesSoekarno-Hatta International Airport
Juanda International Airport
HubsNgurah Rai International Airport
Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport
Secondary hubsHusein Sastranegara International Airport
Achmad Yani Airport
Adisucipto International Airport
Focus citiesHalim Perdanakusuma International Airport
Polonia International Airport
Singapore Changi Airport
Frequent-flyer programPreferred Connection
Fleet size25
Destinations30 (25 Domestic,5 International)
Company sloganFly and Smile With Sempati
HeadquartersJakarta, Indonesia
Key peopleHasan Soedjono (CEO)

Sempati Air was an airline based in Indonesia. Partially owned by friends and family of President Suharto of Indonesia, the airline ceased operations due to bankruptcy after its owner Suharto May 1998 presidential resignation. Its IATA Code has since been reassigned to SpiceJet.


Sempati Air Airbus A300 at Perth Airport in the early 1990s

Sempati Air (IATA code: SG; ICAO code: SSR; call sign: Spirow) was founded in December 1968 by PT.Tri Utama Bhakti (PT.Truba) under the name PT Sempati Air Transport and began flights in March of the following year using Douglas DC-3 aircraft. In the beginning, the airline did not offer regularly scheduled services; instead it offered transportation for oil company workers, but soon thereafter more DC-3s were purchased and the airline received a number of Fokker F27s, and regularly scheduled flights to Singapore, Kuala Lumpur and Manila were begun. The name Sempati was taken from Sampati, a mythical bird in Hindu mythology. In its early days, Sempati were referred by some people as "Sembilan Panglima Tinggi" (nine senior commanders) the Indonesian Army Strategic Reserve Command was also involved in its operations.[citation needed]

In 1975, a Boeing 707 was leased from Pelita Air for flights between Denpasar and Tokyo but the route was turned over to Garuda Indonesia by the Indonesian government. After 1977, the DC-3s were phased out in favor of the newer, more modern F27s. After this, the airline was unable to acquire other types of aircraft as the government placed restrictions on private airlines buying new equipment and it was not until the mid-to-late 1980s that the Fokker 100 and the Boeing 737-200 were introduced into the fleet.

In the late 1980s, Tommy Suharto purchased Sempati and distributed it among three investors: Tri Utama Bhakti, Humpuss and Nusantara Ampera Bhakti (Nusamba).

After the buyout, the airline expanded rapidly in the early 1990s. Hasan Soedjono, the CEO of Sempati, planned a five-year leap to achieve the target of becoming one of Southeast Asia's largest airlines after Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways International. The airline also had plans to expand into Europe with the introduction of a JakartaAbu Dhabi route.

However, financial difficulties soon plagued the airline. Its expansion plans were ruined as it was unable to buy new aircraft such as the Boeing 767 and some others while Garuda Indonesia, which originally planned to sell its DC-10s to the airline is backed out, and instead the airline to eventually purchase Airbus A300 aircraft from Pan Am. With the introduction of the A300, the airline soon began commercial services to new destinations in Asia and Australia.

In 1994, the airline changed its name to Sempati Air. The airline was the launch customer of the Fokker 70. In 1996, just as the airline was planning a share flotation, its debt became known and it was listed in the Red Category, a sign of too much debt. With continued financial problems which result some aircraft were solded or returned to lessors, but it was too late to save the airline and ceased operations in 1998. 7 years later after ceased operations, the airline filed for bankruptcy in July 2005 due to financial crisis back in late 1990's.[1]

Until 1998, Sempati Air flew to a wide variety of destinations, including Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Mataram, Singapore, Kupang, Dili, Medan, Padang, Pekanbaru, Batam, Tanjung Pinang, Palangkaraya, Banjarmasin, Balikpapan, Tarakan, Manado, Palu, Kendari, Makassar, Ambon, Jayapura, Timika, and Perth (Western Australia).[2]

Historical Fleet[edit]

Sempati Air Historical Fleet
Type Number
Airbus A300B4-203 4
Boeing 707-320 2
Boeing 737-281 6
Boeing 767-300 2(Cancelled)
Douglas DC-3
Fokker F27 "Friendship" 4
Fokker 70 2
Fokker 100 7 (to TAM)

Incidents and Accidents[edit]


External links[edit]