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NEWS UPDATES Asean Affairs    28 September  2012

Indonesia's airline Merpati teams up with China to expand its business


Indonesia's ailing state-owned PT Merpati Nusantara Airlines (Merpati) plans to team up with China Aircraft Leasing Co. this year to help boost the airline's business in the future.

Merpati's executive vice president for commercial operations Sutan Banuara said the company recently signed an agreement, which would be effective for five years.

"Through this agreement, we are going to add 60 new aircraft, Airbus and executive regional jet Embraer, starting next year to help strengthening our routes," Banuara told the press yesterday, referring to the Airbus A320s, Embraer E145s and E190s.

He said the company would operate 20 of each aircraft belonging to the Chinese company.

"This is a profit sharing scheme where they let us operate their aircraft because we have the pilots, crews, and the routes," he said.
Two companies would take a delivery of two aircraft every month starting in January. However, Banuara said that the company had negotiated to accelerate delivery to November.

"We believe this is a good formula to accelerate our growth," he added.

In addition, Merpati is collaborating with Tourism and Creative Industry Ministry to promote exotic destinations in the country such as Lombok, Alor, Raja Ampat, Labuan Bajo, and Wakatobi.

Banuara also said the company partnered travel agencies, including the largest tour and travel agent Panorama, to create great domestic tour packages for those destinations.

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This year in Thailand-what next?

AseanAffairs   04 January 2011
By David Swartzentruber      

It is commonplace in journalism to write two types of articles at the transition point between the year that has passed and the New Year. As this writer qualifies as an “old hand” in observing Thailand with a track record dating back 14 years, it is time take a shot at what may unfold in Thailand in 2011.

The first issue that can’t be answered is the health of Thailand’s beloved King Bhumibol, who is now 83 years old. He is the world's longest reigning monarch, but elaborate birthday celebrations in December failed to mask concern over his health. More


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