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Bali News

Running on Empty?

Merpati Threatened with System Closedown as Pertamina Refuses to Sell Aviation Fuel to the State-Owned Airline.


Bali News: Running on Empty?
Click Image to Enlarge

(10/16/2011)

Despite disruption to its flight schedules operating to other destinations, Merpati Nusantara Indonesia (MZ) flights to and from Bali operated without interruption on Saturday, October 15, 2011.

According to Kompas.com, until 2:00 p.m. on Saturday 8 out of 18 scheduled flights by MZ via Bali had flown without delay. Over the course of the day, MZ had 11 flights departing from Bali and 8 inbound flights to the island.

The airport service manager for MZ in Bali, Abdulrachman Fagih, said, “until now all are on schedule.”

Concern is growing that Bali might see MZ flights via Bali come to a halt, as flights via Makassar and Surabaya haveceased as the state-owned oil company, Pertamina, is refusing to provide fuel to MZ in those locations due to large, unpaid fuel bills.

Effective October 15, 2011, Pertamina announced that it would no longer provide fuel to MZ aircraft in Surabaya and Makassar, creating concerns that the embargo could widen to other areas of the country.

An agreement was signed on February 12, 2011, between Pertamina, Merpati and PT Perusahaan Pengelolaan Aset (PPA) – the company charged with managing state-owned assets. That agreement was to have provided bridging funds to allow the state-owned airline to pay its outstanding fuel bills. To date, however, according to Pertamina no payment has been made while the balance owed continues to escalate.

MZ reportedly owes US$62.15 million in overdue fuel bills to Pertamina.
Meanwhile, Pertamina officials appear to be adamant that fuel supplies to MZ may be tightened even further unless payments are made on the overdue fuel bill.
 


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