Grounded: Merpati Nusantara Airlines president director Sardjono Jhony Tjitrokusumo explains the company’s troubled financial state to reporters in Jakarta on Saturday. The airline has terminated two of its routes after fuel producer Pertamina cut its supply because of unpaid debts.
(Antara/M. Agung Rajasa)
Merpati Nusantara Airlines says it has halted several of its scheduled flights after its fuel supplies were cut by state fuel company Pertamina.
Pertamina has stopped supplying fuel to the airline at Juanda Airport in Surabaya, East Java, and Sultan Hasanuddin Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi, Merpati president director Sardjono Jhony said on Saturday.
The stoppage has caused Merpati to cancel several flights to Manado, North Sulawesi and Timika and Merauke, Papua.
“We have been in arrears of Rp 2.73 billion [US$308,614] to Pertamina from August to October, 2011,” Sardjono said as quoted by kompas.com.
However, Sardjono added that Merpati had promised Pertamina it would settle the debt after the government helped it to restructure its credit.
“It should not be like this, since we have provided a guarantee to Pertamina that we will pay off our debt,” he said.
Merpati had reported the problem to State Enterprises Ministry on Saturday, but up until 10.30 a.m. the fuel stoppage had remained in place, Sardjono added.
At least 35 Merpati passengers were waiting at a hotel in Makassar, while 95 others were waiting for their flights at Hasanuddin Airport, he said.