The Indonesian language Bali Post reported last week that plans are afoot to re-launch Air Paradise (API) in March 2007.
Closing abruptly in November 2005, just one month after the second Bali terrorist bombing, API's departure left numerous passengers temporarily stranded in Bali and a multitude of advance ticket purchasers holding worthless tickets.
Speaking to the Bali Post,, an API Director, Putu Oka Semadi, said that a number of facts supported the decision to restart the grounded carrier. First, according to Semadi, there is a moral responsibility that API has to Bali's tourism industry. Second, the continuing high demand for Bali as an international travel destination. And, thirdly, the financial circumstances of the Airline are now conducive to a re-launch. Semadi said that API "still exists" and that permits and licenses to operate the carrier remain valid with weekly reports being filed by API to the Director General of Civil Aviation.
Still Looking for Investors
Despite the decision to move ahead with a restart of API operations, Semadi said that the Airline was open to participation by others, particularly Bali businessmen who may wish to invest. Explained Semadi: "We will not be able to expand Air Paradise alone. We need moral and financial support to permit Air Paradise to truly become the property of the Balinese people."
The Airline's Director told the press that travel wholesalers in Australia, Japan and Korea have been very enthusiastic at the news of API's rebirth.
Indicating that the Airline would be operating wide-body Boeing aircraft, Semadi said that API plans to also establish a domestic network with flights to Surabaya and Jakarta.
No details have been released at this time by the Airline on plans, if any, to reimburse former passengers left holding zero-value tickets.
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