Sempati Air

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Sempati Air
Sempati.png
IATA ICAO Callsign
SG (IATA Transferred to Spicejet) SSR SPIROW
Founded 16 December 1968
Commenced operations March 1969
Ceased operations 5 June 1998
Operating bases Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport
Juanda International Airport
Hubs Ngurah Rai Airport
Singapore Changi Airport
Secondary hubs Husein Sastranegara International Airport
Achmad Yani Airport
Adisucipto International Airport
Focus cities Polonia International Airport
Hong Kong Kai Tak Airport
Perth Airport
Frequent-flyer program Preferred Connection
Airport lounge Gold Lounge
Fleet size 25
Destinations 30 (25 Domestic,5 International)
Company slogan Fly and Smile With Sempati
We Mean Business
Headquarters Jakarta, Indonesia
Key people Hasan Soedjono (CEO)

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

History[edit]

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

Sempati Air, (IATA Code: SG ICAO Code: SSR Callsign: 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 F27 "Friendship', allowing the introduction of 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" because on its founding, The Indonesian Army's Kostrad was also involved in its operations.

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. From some information,[clarification needed] Sempati also leased an additional Boeing 707, possibly from Thailand. 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 against 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, Hutama Mandala Putra (Tommy Soeharto) 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, has planned a five-year leap to reach the Sempati main target to become the one of Southeast Asia's largest airlines after Singapore Airlines, Garuda Indonesia, Malaysia Airlines and Thai Airways International. The airline also had expansion plans towards Europe with the introduction of the Jakarta-Abu Dhabi route.

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

In 1994, the airline changed its name to Sempati Air. In that timeframe, the airline became Indonesia's best, being the launch customer of the Fokker F70 and offered the best in-flight service in the country. In 1996, just as the airline planned its IPO, its debt became known and was listed on the Red Category, a sign of too much debt. With continued financial problems, its CEO was replaced and many aircraft were sold or returned to lessors, but it was too late to save the airline, which filed for bankruptcy due to the 1997 Asian Monetary Crisis.[1]

Until mid-1998, Sempati Air flew to a wide variety of destinations, including Jakarta, Bandung, Semarang, Solo, Yogyakarta, Surabaya, Denpasar, Mataram, 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 F100 7 (to TAM
Fokker F70 2
Fokker F27 "Friendship" 4

Incidents and Accidents[edit]

References[edit]

External links[edit]