More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal

More carmakers caught in headlights of VW engine-rigging scandal
Volkswagen has admitted it installed illegal software into 11 million 2.0 liter and 3.0 liter diesel engines worldwide (AFP Photo/Josh Edelson)

Volkswagen emissions scandal

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission

Iran's 'catastrophic mistake': Speculation, pressure, then admission
Analsyts say it is irresponsible to link the crash of a Ukraine International Airline Boeing 737-800 to the 737 MAX accidents (AFP Photo/INA FASSBENDER)

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts

Missing MH370 likely to have disintegrated mid-flight: experts
A Malaysia Airlines Boeing 777 commercial jet.

QZ8501 (AirAsia)

Leaders see horror of French Alps crash as probe gathers pace

"The Recalibration of Awareness – Apr 20/21, 2012 (Kryon channeled by Lee Carroll) (Subjects: Old Energy, Recalibration Lectures, God / Creator, Religions/Spiritual systems (Catholic Church, Priests/Nun’s, Worship, John Paul Pope, Women in the Church otherwise church will go, Current Pope won’t do it), Middle East, Jews, Governments will change (Internet, Media, Democracies, Dictators, North Korea, Nations voted at once), Integrity (Businesses, Tobacco Companies, Bankers/ Financial Institutes, Pharmaceutical company to collapse), Illuminati (Started in Greece, with Shipping, Financial markets, Stock markets, Pharmaceutical money (fund to build Africa, to develop)), Shift of Human Consciousness, (Old) Souls, Women, Masters to/already come back, Global Unity.... etc.) - (Text version)

… The Shift in Human Nature

You're starting to see integrity change. Awareness recalibrates integrity, and the Human Being who would sit there and take advantage of another Human Being in an old energy would never do it in a new energy. The reason? It will become intuitive, so this is a shift in Human Nature as well, for in the past you have assumed that people take advantage of people first and integrity comes later. That's just ordinary Human nature.

In the past, Human nature expressed within governments worked like this: If you were stronger than the other one, you simply conquered them. If you were strong, it was an invitation to conquer. If you were weak, it was an invitation to be conquered. No one even thought about it. It was the way of things. The bigger you could have your armies, the better they would do when you sent them out to conquer. That's not how you think today. Did you notice?

Any country that thinks this way today will not survive, for humanity has discovered that the world goes far better by putting things together instead of tearing them apart. The new energy puts the weak and strong together in ways that make sense and that have integrity. Take a look at what happened to some of the businesses in this great land (USA). Up to 30 years ago, when you started realizing some of them didn't have integrity, you eliminated them. What happened to the tobacco companies when you realized they were knowingly addicting your children? Today, they still sell their products to less-aware countries, but that will also change.

What did you do a few years ago when you realized that your bankers were actually selling you homes that they knew you couldn't pay for later? They were walking away, smiling greedily, not thinking about the heartbreak that was to follow when a life's dream would be lost. Dear American, you are in a recession. However, this is like when you prune a tree and cut back the branches. When the tree grows back, you've got control and the branches will grow bigger and stronger than they were before, without the greed factor. Then, if you don't like the way it grows back, you'll prune it again! I tell you this because awareness is now in control of big money. It's right before your eyes, what you're doing. But fear often rules. …

Sunday, January 31, 2010

Yogyakarta's airport to be expanded to meet rising demand

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sun, 01/31/2010 4:30 PM

Adisutjipto international airport in Yogyakarta will be expanded to more than two times of its current size to meet the increasing number of air passengers flying from and to this royal city.

Halendra, operational manager of the airport operator company PT Angkasa Pura I, said that the expanded airport would cover an area of 18,000 square meters, as compared to the current area of 8,000 square meters.

"The Adisutjipto airport's development and expansion is to meet the growing air traffics, both domestic and international, from and to Yogyakarta," Halendra was quoted by as saying.

After the 2006 earthquake, the airport was renovated to a new capacity of 1 million passengers per annum. However, since then, passengers increased rapidly to 2.8 million in 2008 and 3.2 million in 2009.

"Currently, we have a number of contractors that have submitted their designs, and we are waiting for the tender process that normally would take about 45 days," Halendra said.

Saturday, January 30, 2010

Local Airlines Took Off In 2009

Jakarta Globe, Janeman Latul, January 30, 2010

Although Southeast Asia’s aviation industry saw its passenger volume dive 9 percent last year, Indonesia’s airlines gained altitude, registering an increase of up to 20 percent with further growth predicted this year.

The global airline industry has been forced to make deep capacity cuts since 2008 due to rising oil prices and the economic crisis hitting travel demand.

“Our company’s profit increased last year by more than 30 percent at Rp 1 trillion [$107 million] compared to 2008,” said Emirsyah Satar, chief executive of flag carrier PT Garuda Indonesia, which has the nation’s largest fleet.

“In terms of passengers, Garuda grew by 4 percent while those of regional airlines fell 9 percent,” he said.

Last year’s earnings represented a significant turnaround from poor performance in recent years. Garuda earned a net profit of Rp 669 billion in 2008 and Rp 60 billion in 2007.

The CEO attributed the company’s healthy finances to falling oil prices and an rebound in demand.

“Our domestic market is huge and still has room to grow. I predict it will swell by at least 11 percent just from local demands.” Emirsyah said, adding that the company will acquire 24 new aircraft this year.

He also said the airline was planning to add several new routes this year, including one linking Jakarta and Amsterdam by June, after the European Union partially lifted its ban on Indonesian airlines last year.

Edward Sirait, a director of PT Lion Mentari Airlines, the country’s biggest airline by passenger volume, also had good news to report.

“Last year passengers increased by around 30 million [across the sector], or 20 percent more than 2008,” Edward said. “Lion also increased its passenger volume by 10 to 12 percent compared with 2008. We have been able to generate healthy cash-flow, despite the purchase of new planes.”

In 2006, Lion signed an agreement with Seattle-based Boeing to purchase 30 737-900ERs, four of which started flying in December.

Edward declined to disclose his company’s financial results for 2009, saying its books have yet to be closed. “We will know the details by mid-February,” he said.

Tricia Megawati, spokeswoman for PT Mandala Airlines, one of the fastest growing low-cost carriers in recent years, said it also recorded better financial performance last year than in 2008.

In 2007, Mandala ordered 30 Airbus A320s worth $1.8 billion. It took delivery of four of the aircraft in 2009 and expects to receive more this year. PT Cardig Air owns 51 percent of the airline and US-based private equity fund Indigo Partners owns the remainder.

PT Sriwijaya Air chief commercial officer Toto Nursatyo said it also saw a steady rise in passengers, with an increase of 4.3 percent in 2008 and 5.6 percent in 2009. “This year we estimate that it will further rise by 11 to 12 percent,” he said.

Toto said the company’s cash-flow was healthy, and that it would buy six new aircraft this year to complement its fleet of 24.

Friday, January 29, 2010

House likely to approve ‘Air Force One’

Ridwan Sijabat, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Fri, 01/29/2010 1:23 PM

The House of Representatives has expressed its initial agreement to a plan to procure a special airplane for the President.

Chairman of the House's budget committee Harry Azhar Azis said Friday lawmakers grouped in the committee had deliberated the budget proposed by the government to buy the equivalent of the US President’s Air Force One airplane this fiscal year.

"The budget committee will discuss the ‘Air Force One’ procurement further with the minister of finance on Feb. 2. We deem it is high time for the President to have a special wide-bodied airplane for the sake of mobility and efficiency," Harry said.

The Finance Ministry has proposed Rp 200 billion (US$21.5 million) as a down payment on the plane.

Harry said the committee would summon the finance minister to get the total price of the plane, its maintenance expenses, and running costs for its special pilot and copilot crew.

Indonesian presidents have always leased a plane from state-owned Garuda Indonesia for domestic and overseas trips. The government has also provided a 50-seater RJ plane for the President. The aircraft is maintained by state airline Pelita Air Service.

Asian Budget Airlines Ready To Cash in as Travel Soars

Jakarta Globe, January 28, 2010

Singapore. Asia’s budget airlines will prosper as the region’s economic recovery takes hold and its middle class grows, but rising fuel costs could hurt, the industry’s top executives said on Thursday.

Low-cost airlines fared better during last year’s global recession than their full-service competitors as individuals and companies looked to cut costs by scaling back expensive business-class travel.

Last week, full-service carrier Japan Airlines filed for bankruptcy protection after years of heavy losses while Singapore-based low-cost airline Tiger Airways raised $178 million at an IPO.

Budget carriers are now hoping regional economic growth can boost leisure travel in 2010.

“The size of the travel market in this region is going to explode as economies come back,” said Garry Kingshott, chief executive adviser for Manila-based Cebu Pacific Air.

The region’s growing population and high economic growth rates bode well for low-cost airlines as millions of Asians are lifted out of poverty and travel abroad for the first time, experts said.

“The creation of first-time middle class households in emerging markets is continuing,” said Yuwa Hedrick-Wong, an economist for MasterCard Worldwide in Singapore.

“If you look at the budget airlines, budget travel and so on, these are typical services that the newly-minted middle class use.”

Industry executives said higher fuel costs could cut into profits and undermine the cost advantages they have over full-service peers.

“I’m sure all of us have sleepless nights worrying about jet fuel prices, the one thing you don’t control,” said Sam Sridharan, chief commercial officer of India’s SpiceJet.

Crude oil prices have traded $10 either side of $75 a barrel in recent months after hitting $147 and crashing to $32 in 2008. Most economists say prices could rise this year and breach $100 again during the next two years, straining budget carriers, where fuel accounts for up to 40 percent of operating costs.

“We all know it’s going to keep heading up and that’s one of the big risks of this industry,” said Brett Godfrey, chief executive of Australia’s Virgin Blue.

To stay competitive, executives said low-cost carriers must use the latest technology to cut costs, become more efficient and satisfy customers.

Jetstar Airways, based in Australia, plans next month to start sending boarding passes by text message to reduce check-in times. “We have to constantly innovate to stay ahead,” said Jetstar CEO Bruce Buchanan.

Associated Press

Cargo Plane Skids at Papua Airport

Tempo Interactive, Thursday, 28 January, 2010 | 20:22 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: A plane accident reported a Papuan airport on Thursday (28/1) injuring two people on board. An Antonov AN-26B 4L-IFE operated by a local airline Manunggal Air overshot the runway at Wamena Airport at 12:50 noon.

Two Russian pilots in the plane were injured in the accident. The plane carried six tonnes of rice from jayapura, the seat of Papua Province.

Officials and staff of the Manunggal Air have not complete removing the plane from the runway by afternoon.


Wednesday, January 27, 2010

Tourism Officials See Red Over Scrapping of 7-Day Visas

Jakarta Globe, January 27, 2010

Visitors getting a Visa on Arrival will have to pay for a 30-day stay. (Antara Photo)

Two government departments look set for a clash of ideas over the scrapping on Tuesday of seven-day visas on arrival for foreigners arriving in Indonesia.

Scrapping the $10 visas and leaving only the $25 visas, which is valid for 30 days, will encourage foreign tourists to stay longer as well as curb graft among immigration officials, Maroloan Barimbing, the spokesman for the Directorate General of Immigration under the Ministry of Justice and Human Rights, said on Wednesday.

Maroloan said visitors must now buy the 30-day visa regardless of how long they plan to stay. As a bonus, they will now be able to extend the visa by another 30 days without leaving the country, immigration officials have said.

But scrapping the seven-day option has proved immediately controversial, with the Culture and Tourism Ministry taking the unusual step of publicly denouncing it as likely to actually reduce tourist arrivals.

“I am worried the regulation would affect foreign tourists who make frequent short stays,” Firmansyah Hakim, the ministry’s director general of tourism destination development, told the Jakarta Globe Wednesday.

He said his ministry was currently reviewing the potential impact on tourist numbers. “We are going to ask the immigration department to sit down with us and hopefully we can come up with a solution,” he said.

Industry experts have said the global economic crisis has shifted many tourists from long stays to shorter visits. In 2009, tourists stayed an average of 8.58 days, continuing a trend toward shorter stays since 2000, the Tourism Ministry reported. The low figure demonstrates that a significant number of visitors — especially those arriving by land from Malaysia and Singapore at Batam in Riau Islands province — come for stays of less than seven days and will now have to pay extra.

“Visitors from immediate border countries will likely think twice before going for a short trip in our country,” Firmansyah said.

Maroloan defended the move, saying visitors planning only short stays would be tempted to stay for longer as they would automatically have a 30-day visa.

“We hope this policy will extend tourists’ stays in Indonesia, giving them a chance to visit more places in the country,” he said.

“The policy will also simplify the supervision of overstaying foreign tourists because there is only one visa option.”

He said the decision was also meant to combat corruption. Last year, the Supreme Audit Agency (BPK) caught the ministry off guard by revealing it had found more than Rp 3 billion ($321,000) in unreported fees for visas on arrival collected over a six-month period at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali.

The ministry discovered that officials had been defrauding travelers by issuing $10 visas to those who paid $25 and pocketing the difference. Maroloan said officers in charge were punished by having their pay rises frozen.

The ministry conducted a similar inspection at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Jakarta but the spokesman said no irregularities were found.

The immigration department was listed as one of the country's most corrupt public institutions in a 2009 bribery index survey released by Transparency International Indonesia.

Tuesday, January 26, 2010

Garuda to Issue Visas in the Air

Tempo Interactive, Tuesday, 26 January, 2010 | 16:46 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Tokyo: National flag-carrier airline Garuda Indonesia start will to offer visas on arrival (VoA) on flights on February 1st.

The program entitled “Immigration on Board" was tested on the GA881 flight from Tokyo to Denpasar on January 21.

“This is the world first visa service in the air,” said Emirsyah Satar, Managing Director of Garuda Indonesia.

Present on the flight were the caretaker Immigration Director General Muhammad Indra and the Indonesian Ambassador for Japan Jusuf Anwar.

The second trial will be held today.

With this service, tourists or those who wish to travel to Indonesia do not have to process their visas before their departure or upon arriving at the Denpasar or Jakarta airports.

To process this, passengers can buy a visa voucher after they check in at Narita Airport, Tokyo.

“A visa for 10 days visit costs US$ 10 and a visa for 30-60 days visit cost US$ 25," said Muhammad Indra.

Jusuf said he hoped that the new service would increase the number of Japanese tourists which has been in decline for the last two years.

To increase the number of visits from Japan to Indonesia, according to Emirsyah, Garuda is attempting to have direct flights from Tokyo to Jakarta.

All this time, Japanese passengers have had to go to Denpasar first.

“We hope that this year, direct flights from Tokyo to Jakarta can be operated,’ he said.

Prasidono Listiaji

Feeding a City Off The Back of a Bike

Jakarta Globe, Lisa Siregar, January 26, 2010

Uum, slicing a chicken for a buyer. (JG Photo/Lisa Siregar)

Everyone is used to Jakarta’s legions of cart vendors, warungs and roadside restos making mealtimes easy and quick. After all, in such a fast-paced city, preparing family meals often poses a challenge.

But it is harder on a different scale altogether for the small-scale mobile entrepreneurs who eke out a meager living making things easier for the rest of us. The pedagang keliling , or mobile vendors, ply the roads of housing complexes selling basic food items such as vegetables, spices and chicken. Some days they they turn a tiny profit, on others they lose money. Who would choose to do it?

Sumarni, 31, and Uum, 55, quit their jobs years ago to become mobile vendors.

At 7 a.m., Sumarni rides her red bicycle, with two plastic-layered baskets on the back holding all her wares. She sells rice cakes in banana leaves, donuts with thick sugar icing, rolled omelettes, fried tofu and glutinous cakes for Rp 500 (5 cents) each.

“I make these all by myself,” Sumarni said, to explain how her food could be so cheap. She has been a mobile vendor for eight years after quitting her job at a garment factory soon after she had her second son. “I want to watch my sons grow up, and I can’t do that if I have to work full-time at the factory,” she said.

Sumarni lives in Pondok Kelapa, East Jakarta, about 15 minutes away by bicycle from Bintara — the neighborhood which borders East Jakarta and Bekasi — where she sells her food. Her buyers are mostly housewives looking for a quick breakfast fix for their families.

For Uum, 55, working as a mobile vendor is hard, but easier than her previous job as a laundry woman. “I used to go to five houses every day and do their wash,” Uum said. “I worked from 3 p.m. to midnight.”

She jumped at the chance when someone in her neighborhood offered to give her a loan to start a business. Uum decided to sell chickens. With working capital of Rp 500,000 a day, she is able to buy and sell about 30 chickens. She sources them from the traditional market or from her neighborhood in Lampiri, Bekasi.

“I slice my own chicken. I fear that they use borax [at the market],” she said, referring to a common preservative.

According to University of Indonesia sociologist JF Warrouw, mobile vendors have been around since the Dutch colonial times.

“The fact that they still exist right now shows that all this time, our government has no welfare scheme at the grassroots level,” he said.

Warrouw said that in the urban life scenario, mobile vendors are classified under a market’s informal sector and are part of the support system for the lower classes.

He added that the lower classes normally live in survival mode, while those from the middle or upper classes shop for their needs on a weekly or monthly basis. Mobile vendors go around neighborhoods every day to make it easy for households to prepare their meals.

Bambang Ismawan, a small and medium enterprises expert, as quoted in the Journal of the Economy of People in 2002, states that the nation’s economic structure is unbalanced. Less than 1 percent of businessmen are able to earn special rights to access most of the resources and thus dominate market and economic growth.

But according to Bambang, this structure is a blessing in disguise for people who work in informal sectors, because despite being marginalized, they are better able to survive.

Bambang also mentions in his article that a study by the Central Bureau of Statistics (BPS) shows that about 36 million Indonesians work in the small and medium enterprises sector.

Sumarni has two sons, ages 10 and 8. She wakes up at 5 a.m. to pray, clean the house and prepare her food baskets before she leaves. Her 10-year-old boy stays at home to watch his younger brother. They leave for school at noon when she returns from selling her goods.

For Sumarni, being at home does not mean rest. She still needs to cook for her family and do the laundry, while keeping an eye out for her home-based shop.

Occasionally, she goes to a traditional market to buy ingredients she needs to prepare the food she sells.

As the sun goes down, Sumarni starts cooking. She washes the rice, cuts the vegetables, steams the rice cakes and makes the dough to be fried the next morning. “I cook from 6 p.m. until probably midnight,” she said.

In making rice cakes, she always makes sure that the rice is properly washed so that it won’t go bad at noon the next day. She said she can’t go to sleep before she finishes preparing everything.

“If washed properly, rice cakes should be good until the afternoon or at night,” she said.

Sumarni used to walk around the neighborhood before she decided to get a bicycle. Aside from her daily neighborhood rounds and home-based store, she also sells her wares at a stall near an angkot (public transport terminal).

“I make my cakes bigger and sell those at Rp 800. If the stall owner sells them at Rp 1,000, she can take an extra Rp 200,” Sumarni said.

Other than fried snacks, donuts and rice cakes, she also sells yellow rice and coconut rice for Rp 1,500.

“Going around selling cakes on a bicycle is healthy,” Sumarni said, adding that it gives her the chance to exercise while working.

She added that she was previously overweight and used to take traditional slimming drinks that caused illnesses like dizziness, clammy hands and shortness of breath.

Like Sumarni, Uum also uses a bicycle, given by a previous employer, to sell chicken. While she acknowledges she’s not good at math — something she blames on not getting a proper education when she was younger — she makes up for it with her loud voice when she goes out to sell.

She said that her math skills have somewhat improved over the years. “Now, I am better at counting change,” she said, laughing.

Zainal, one of Uum’s regular customers, said that people often try to trick her.

“Before, she did not know how to count change at all. We needed to do it for her,” Zainal said. “Sometimes, I round up my bill and give her the change.”

Uum has five children. Two of them are married, another works out of town and two more stay at home.

She starts selling chicken at 6 a.m. every day. She wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to prepare for another day on the streets.

“I’ve been selling chicken for 20 years. The price was only Rp 3,000 for a whole chicken back then,” Uum said. Right now, she buys a whole chicken for Rp 18,000 and sells them for Rp 21,000.

She is able to sell out her supply every day. However, she loses money very often because she can’t keep track of it. “Once when I was going around, I lost Rp 300,000 because there was apparently a hole in my pocket,” Uum said.

“My neighbors are used to this. One of them is kind enough to give me some money [when I lose it].”

“Boss told me to be careful next time,” Uum said in her thick Betawi accent, referring to her kind neighbor. “She said I should take care of myself because I often lose money.

“I don’t know how long I am going to do this. I am old, I will be going home to the soil soon,” she said with a laugh.

When she was talking, a cat clambered up her bicycle and stole a piece of chicken.

Uum immediately cut the interview short to chase after the thief. The feline got away by climbing up a tree and hiding on the rooftop.

She laughed at herself for forgetting to secure her baskets.

“I lost money, and now I lost my chicken too!”

Wednesday, January 20, 2010

Zero tolerance drug program launched at airport

Multa Fidrus, The Jakarta Post, Tangerang | Wed, 01/20/2010 5:13 PM

The National Police launched a zero tolerance drug program at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport on Wednesday as part of an effort to crack down on drug trafficking and drug abuse across the country.

National Police chief Gen. Bambang Hendarso Danuri said the program would be the vanguard of the national campaign against drugs, often found to have been smuggled into the country through the airport.

“We need to cooperate and conduct a joint study with related parties such as airport and seaport operators, state prosecutors and penitentiaries in an attempt to anticipate and prevent drug-related crime,” Bambang said.

He added that the police had prepared a new measure to stamp out drug offenses, but he declined to go into detail.

A number of the police top brass, including National Police detective chief Comr. Gen, Ito Sumardi and head of the National Narcotics Body Comr. Gen. Gories Mere, and customs and excise, immigration, airport and seaport officials attended the ceremony.

Customs and excise officers at Soekarno-Hatta airport have arrested dozens of foreigners who attempted to smuggle drugs into the country over the past few months.

Migrant Workers May Soon Join The Flying Public

Jakarta Globe, Anita Rachman & Putri Prameshwari

After years of alarming complaints of extortion and harassment at the infamous airport terminal for returning Indonesian migrant workers, the government announced a pilot scheme on Tuesday giving workers the option of using the public terminal.

Iskandar Maula, director of overseas workers at the Ministry of Manpower and Transmigration, said workers returning from overseas would soon be allowed to arrive and leave through Terminal 2 at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, just like ordinary Indonesians and foreigners.

He said the scheme would begin “within months,” after coordination between several government departments and state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura.

There would also be a special desk at Terminal 2 for returning workers to file complaints against their foreign employers for nonpayment of wages, emotional or physical abuse and other problems, as well as to file complaints against their Indonesian recruitment agencies, he added.

Iskandar said the scheme would initially only be open to migrants workers in Hong Kong and Taiwan because they rarely experienced problems abroad.

A recent surprise inspection of Selapajang, the special migrants-only terminal also known as Terminal TKI, found one returned worker who had been waiting at the airport for 13 days because of “issues with travel and insurance agencies,” he said. “We cannot let this happen.”

Labor activists have regularly raised their concerns over Terminal TKI, saying that segregating migrant workers from regular airline passengers is discrimination and that the terminal is a black hole of corruption, extortion and robbery.

Returning workers, they say, must pay exorbitant rates for transport home as they are not allowed to be picked up by family members. Minivan drivers at the terminal have even been accused of robbing their passengers, who are carrying months’ worth of wages, and leaving them stranded by the side of the road.

Wahyu Susilo, a public policy analyst with advocacy group Migrant Care, welcomed the scheme, saying the move would reduce the chances of migrant workers being targeted for extortion.

“They are citizens of Indonesia, why should they be discriminated against?” he said.

Jamaluddin, a coordinator from the Indonesian Migrant Workers Union (SBMI), however, slammed the announcement, saying it was a publicity stunt as part of the government’s 100-day program and was unlikely to be continued in the long term.

He said the ministry should allow all overseas workers to use Terminal 2, not just those working in Hong Kong and Taiwan. “What about our migrant workers in the Middle East?” he said. “Are they too stupid to be allowed into the public terminal?”

There are currently 4.3 million Indonesians working in 42 countries, according to the National Board for the Placement and Protection of Indonesian Overseas Workers (BNP2TKI). The figure, however, does not include an estimated two to four million working abroad illegally.

Tuesday, January 19, 2010

Japan Airlines: From National Miracle to Aviation Wreck

Japan Airlines, a former state-owned flag carrier that was once a source of national pride, has become one of the highest profile victims of the country’s long economic malaise.

JAL’s rise and fall mirrors the nation’s economic “miracle” after World War II as well as its years of stagnation after the bubble burst in the 1990s.

The airline was established in 1951, half controlled by the government. It made its international debut in 1954, connecting Tokyo, Honolulu and San Francisco.

Flying to 217 airports in 35 countries and regions, the biggest carrier of the world’s second-largest economy is saddled with huge debt.

With that estimated at about 2 trillion yen ($22 billion), the JAL bankruptcy is the biggest failure outside the financial sector since World War II, according to Tokyo Shoko Research, an advisory company. Despite the airline’s current woes, its landing slots remain coveted, with US carriers American Airlines and Delta locked in a bidding war for a slice of JAL as they look to increase their share of the Asian market.

Sporting its trademark crane logo, JAL rapidly widened its operations at home and overseas during the 1960s and 1970s, at one stage becoming the world’s largest carrier in terms of flights.

Disaster struck in 1985 when a JAL jumbo crashed into a mountain in Japan, killing 520 of the 524 people aboard in the worst single-airplane accident in aviation history.

As it battled to overcome the tragedy, the carrier was fully privatized in 1987 and expanded its fleet in the early 1990s, a move that soon turned out to be a financial burden as the economic “bubble” burst.

The carrier has 279 aircraft, including 113 leased planes. It transported about 53 million passengers last year, 41 million of them on domestic routes.

As the global aviation industry was battered by the fallout from the September 11, 2001 attacks as well as the SARS and bird flu scares, JAL plunged into huge losses and sought massive credit lines from the government.

In a bid to survive the tougher business environment, JAL and domestic carrier Japan Air System merged to form JAL Group, changing the logo to the current “Arc of the Sun” resembling the national flag.

The integration, however, led to further losses and a slowdown in restructuring efforts, while JAL’s smaller rival All Nippon Airways moved into high gear.

Despite the privatization, JAL has often come under political pressure to maintain flights to more than half of domestic airports even though many are unprofitable, analysts say.

Nomura Securities analyst Makoto Murayama added that JAL also miscalculated international demand. “ANA predicted the decline in demand for international flights would not recover after the 9/11 attacks in the United States — which proved to be right,” he said. “JAL thought demand would recover.”

More recently, the global economic crisis as well as the swine flu outbreak dealt another serious blow. JAL lost about $1.5 billion in the six months to September 2009.

JAL, which has about 47,500 employees, has been saddled by huge pension payouts to retirees, who have now agreed to reduced payments. Agence France-Presse

Related Article:

Japan Airlines files for bankruptcy protection

JAL is now valued at less than the price of a new jumbo jet

Monday, January 18, 2010

Stol planes most suitable for Papua

Antara News, Monday, January 18, 2010 03:53 WIB

Jayapura (ANTARA News) - The operation of STOL (short take off and landing) aircraft would be highly suitable for use in Papua as the area full of steep maintain ranges with average heights of more than 100 meters above sea level.

"Besides extreme geographical and weather conditions, Papua very suitable for STOL aircraft," Director of PT Unitrade Persada Nusantara, an air transportation company, Satya Graha Utama said here Sunday.

A STOL plane could even take off and land on grassy airstrip, she said.

Satya said STOL planes are especially useful for operation in Papua because most of the airstrips there are relatively short, simple, with minimum facilities.

Planes with STOL qualifications include Twin Otters, Cesna Caravans, and Pilatus Porters, he added.

He said that for a smoother development of Papua, especially in its air transportation, the government needs to increase the capacity and facilities of its airports, especially in the transportation of logistics to the hinterhand.

Up to December 2009, several airline companies had been flying to the hinterlands of Papua carrying passengers and cargo, including Merpati Nusantara Airlines, Trigana Air Service, Avia Star Mandiri, Pelita Air Service, Deraya Air Cargo, and Air Pacifik Utama.

Besides, six religious institutions are also flying over the area reaching the hinterlands, they include Mission Aviation Fellowship (MAF), Tariku Aviation, Yayasan Jasa Aviasi (Yajasi), Aviation Mission Association (AMA), Adventist Aviation Indonesia, and Helimission.

According to the Papua provincial air transportation agency, there are now 269 airports, but only 30 of which have asphalted air strips, while those of the remaining 239 still have grass airstrips.

Saturday, January 16, 2010

East Flood Canal to have bicycle tracks

The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Sat, 01/16/2010 8:46 PM

The East Flood Canal is soon to emerge as the most popular and safest place for bikers to ride in Jakarta.

Pitoyo Subandrio, head of Ciliwung-Cisadane Flood Bureau at the Ministry of Public Works, said Saturday a bicycle track would be built along each side of the canal, which stretches between Kebon Nanas in East Jakarta and Marunda Beach in North Jakarta.

The left track between Kebon Nanas and Marunda covers 23 kilometers, while the opposite track covers 22 kilometers.

“We are planting trees along the tracks to make them convenient to bikers. I believe the canal will be the most popular route,” Pitoyo was quoted by

The government will build barb wire fences along the canal to keep people from dumping garbage into the flood control facility.

Cargo Airports to Become Open Sky

Tempo Interactive, Friday, 15 January, 2010 | 20:08 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta: The government will include cargo airports in the liberalization of international flights or open sky policy. “Besides regular airports, there are cargo airports open internationally,” said Director of Air Transport Tri S. Sunoko when contacted yesterday.

But Tri was not yet prepared to confirm how many airports will be open. The names of the airports will be included in the ministerial decision, which will be issued at the beginning of February.

The decision is still being discussed intently.

For passenger airports, Tri said that there are five already included in the international flight liberalization, which are Soekarno-Hatta (Jakarta), Kualanamu (Medan), Juanda (Surabaya), Ngurah Rai (Denpasar), and Sultan Hasanuddin (Makassar).

"These five airports are the most ready to face flight liberalization," he said.

Tri asked all chosen airports to improve their services in line with international standards, including security and facilities provided.

“They certainly have to comply with international standards,” he said.

Tri went on to say that Kualanamu airport is still in the construction process.

The airport will commence operations in the beginning of July.

The airport will be an open sky one. “If possible, it will operate 24 hours,” he said.Previously, Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi asked that the liberalization in ASEAN be delayed six months.

The reason for this was that Indonesia still needed time to prepare itself.

Indonesia has 26 international airports, a lot more than Singapore, which only has one international airport.

At that time Freddy said that he would limit the number of airports to be opened.

This measure was taken to prevent the potential loss of national carriers due to the policy.


Wednesday, January 13, 2010

Pertamina Now Willing to Supply Avtur to Timika

Tempo Interactive, Wednesday, 13 January, 2010 | 16:05 WIB

TEMPO Interactive, Jakarta:Having previously refused to supply Avtur to Moses Kilangin Airport, Timika, Papua, yesterday the state-owned oil company Pertamina changed its mind.

“We are ready (to supply Avtur to Timika) if the government give us the order,” said Marketing and Trade Deputy Director Hanung Budya yesterday.

Therefore, Pertamina is ready to put behind the economic factor.

“The important thing is that the Avtur supply is fulfilled,” he said.According to Hanung, Avtur supply to Timika all this time comes from Pertamina, bought by Airfast Aviation Facilities Company (AVCO), a Freeport Indonesia subsidiary, which runs Moses Kilangin Airport.

Freeport Indonesia spokesperson, Mindo Pangaribuan, welcomed Pertamina’s plan to provide Avtur to Timika.

“Good,” he said yesterday.

He went on to say that Pertamina would have to provide the infrastructure relating to the Avtur supply.

He denied providing a more thorough explanation because he said it needed to be discussed with AVCO, the Timika regency government and Pertamina.

“It will be discussed later,” he said.Pertamina is now willing following the tension between Freeport and Garuda. In a letter dated January 3, 2010, Freeport prohibited Garuda to refuel in Timika Airport until further notice.

Previously, on 25 December 2009, Freeport sent a letter to Garuda and other airlines to inform them of limited Avtur supply in the run-up to the end of year holiday.

But Garuda spokesperson, Pujobroto, said he presumed that the ban was connected with the refusal of the airline to fly the Freeport President Director Armando Mahler from Jayapura to Timika.

His name was not on the GA 652 passengers list.

Garuda responded to Freeport letter on 4 January 2010 by saying that Garuda was halting its flight to Timika until there was assurance of fuel supply.

The Director General of Air Transport at the Transportation Department Herry Bhakti held a meeting with Freeport and Garuda on 7 January.

He asked Pertamina to supply Avtur in Timika and Garuda would then resume its flights to Timika.


Govt not to raise fuel oil prices this year: minister

Antara News, Tuesday, January 12, 2010 23:02 WIB

Jakarta (ANTARA News) - The government gave assurance on Tuesday that it will not raise domestic fuel oil prices although global oil prices are escalating to the level of US$80 a barrel, a minister said.

The current rise in global oil prices had prompted the government to change the assumed oil price in the 2010 state budget to US$80 from US$65 a barrel, Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati said at the presidential office here.

"We have just discussed energy subsidy. Since there will be no domestic fuel oil price hike oil subsidy will be raised," she said after attending a limited cabinet meeting.

The minister said a change in the assumed oil price to U$80 from US$65 a barrel and the rupiah`s exchange rate to Rp9,500 from Rp10,000 per dollar will increase fuel oil subsidy to Rp96.1 trillion from Rp68 trillion.

Electricity subsidy is projected to increase to Rp53.2 trillion from Rp37.8 trillion and rice and fertilizer subsidy to Rp59.5 trillion from Rp51.3 trillion, she said.

"However, the government will receive an additional state revenue of Rp39 trillion from oil price hike," she said.

She said the government will also raise the inflation rate target to 5.5 percent from 5 percent and the assumed interest rate on Bank Indonesia promissory notes (SBI) for three-month deposit to 6.8 percent from 6.5 percent.

Given the change in macro-economic assumptions, state receipts and expenditures in the 2010 state budget will change with the budget deficit expected to soar to Rp128.7 trillion or 2.2 percent of the gross domestic product (GDP), from Rp1.8 trillion or 1.8 percent of the GDP, she said.

She said the government has decided to use 2009 state budget leftover amounting to Rp38 trillion to meet part of financing target in the 2010 state budget.

Tuesday, January 12, 2010

Jakarta to set service standards for busway

Indah Setiawati, The Jakarta Post, Jakarta | Tue, 01/12/2010 9:35 PM

In a bid to improve services, the administration is planning to apply a set of minimum service standards for Transjakarta’s bus operators, five years after the public transportation system was launched.

Governor Fauzi Bowo said the Institute for Transportation and Development Policy (ITDP) had prepared a draft for the service standard, which is expected to take effect in three months.

“The standard will be set by the consumers foundation and representatives of the Transjakarta passengers.”

Fauzi said the minimum service standard would contain sanctions to be imposed on violating operators.

Head of the Transportation Agency M. Tauchid said several standards stated in the draft concerned the passengers’ comfort and safety, such as the bus’s condition, waiting time and maximum capacity,

He said sanctions for breaching the standards should be mentioned in the contracts between the Transjakarta Busway Management Board (BLU) and bus operators.

“The sanction can be a cut in kilometers [paid by the board], but we are still discussing it.”

Monday, January 11, 2010

For Executives of Riau Air, Hopes Are in the Toilet

Jakarta Globe, Putri Prameshwari & Antara

Teguh Trianto, chairman of Riau Airlines, shows staff how it’s done as he cleans the toilet on one of the company’s Fokker-50 aircraft shortly after it landed in Pekanbaru on Friday night. (Antara Photo/FB Anggoro)

Struggling low-cost carrier Riau Airlines has come up with a novel way to remind cabin crew that cleanliness is next to godliness — getting the company chairman and other senior executives to clean toilets aboard its planes once a week.

Chairman Teguh Triyanto said that as of this month, senior staff would be required to help keep the lavatories of the company’s aircraft spic and span every Friday.

“We are trying to demonstrate that in addition to safety, passenger comfort is our No. 1 priority,” Teguh said.

He added that he hoped the scheme would motivate the company’s rank-and-file to keep the aircraft clean and thereby keep passengers happy.

Teguh said the toilet was an integral part of the plane, but cabin crew often overlooked its cleanliness. On Friday, Teguh climbed into a Fokker-50 shortly after it landed in Pekanbaru from Tanjung Pinang and started cleaning the lavatory.

Along with 10 other directors and managers, Teguh, recently appointed the company’s chairman, cleaned the toilet as well as other areas on the plane.

Riau Airlines, based in Pekanbaru, serves routes in the western part of Indonesia using a fleet of five Fokker-50s and two British Aerospace 146s. It also offers smaller aircraft for charter.

Riau Airlines discontinued its flight linking Pekanbaru with Jakarta on Wednesday due to ongoing losses. Teguh was quoted by Antara as saying that once the airline had acquired a larger aircraft it would reopen the route. “For now, we are only focusing on short routes in Sumatra,” he said.

The route opened in December 2008 with two Avro RJ-100 aircraft with a capacity of 108 seats each. In the future, the airline would focus on commercial flights from Riau to Sumatra, he said. Riau Airlines also recently opened a new route to Jambi and plans a route to Palembang in the near future.

As air transportation has grown rapidly in the archipelago in the wake of the economic reforms since the late 1990s, carriers have been pressured to compete to get the most passengers by slashing fares. Travelers’ comfort and safety have been often overlooked as a result.

Eko Roesni, secretary general of People for Indonesia Air Transportation, said airline liberalization should have come with much tighter regulations.

“And the regulations must prioritize passengers because without them the industry would not be in business,” he said.

Sunday, January 10, 2010

Domestic Airlines Call for Indonesian Airports to Run '24/7' to Help Keep Neighboring Rivals at Bay

Jakarta Globe, Putri Prameshwari

Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport is one of only two in Indonesia operating 24 hours day. The other is Ngurah Rai in Bali. (Bloomberg Photo/Dimas Ardian)

The country’s 27 international airports should operate 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to boost the airline industry ahead of the full implementation of the Asean “open sky” policy in 2015, an airline association official said over the weekend.

Tengku Burhanuddin, secretary general of the Indonesia National Air Carriers Association, said the country’s biggest hubs must be prepared to operate 24 hours a day. “That way we can make the most of our local airlines,” he said.

The Asean open sky agreement took effect in December 2008 and is being implemented gradually until 2015. It will allow airlines from all 10 Asean member countries to fly to any destination within the region.

Currently, Tengku said, Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta International Airport and Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport were the only ones that operated 24 hours a day. “It’s such a shame because several other airports also have a market if they open for 24 hours,” he said.

Those airports, he said, included Medan’s Polonia, Makassar’s Sultan Hasanuddin, and Surabaya’s Juanda airports. These, along with Jakarta and Bali, made up the country’s main air transport hubs, according to the Transportation Ministry.

Herry Bhakti Singayuda, director general of civil aviation at the ministry, said there was an existing plan to maximize the operation of the country’s major airports. The ministry, he said, was evaluating the five airports in an effort to improve their performance as major hubs.

“Several sea ports are open 24 hours,” Herry said. “Gradually, the ministry will also test-run these airports.”

Dudi Sudibyo, a Jakarta-based aviation expert, said human resources needed to be improved before the government could operate airports 24 hours a day.

“The most important thing is service. So the question is whether we have competent people to work at night and can still give customers the best service or not,” Dudi said.

He added that if Indonesia wanted to prepare for the open-sky policy, the airport workers must improve their English.

“It's a small factor that often gets overlooked,” he said, adding that workers proficient in English were required because most international flights arrive and depart at night.

Eko Roesni, secretary general of aviation watchdog People for Indonesia Air Transportation, said airport facilities also must be improved. “How can airports operate 24 hours a day if blackouts still happen?” he said.

Tulus Pranowo, operational and technical director of state airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II, noted that the private sector was permitted to be involved in the operation of an airport, in accordance with the 2009 aviation law.

“We welcome any private sector organization that wants to be involved in improving our airports,” he said.

In December, Transportation Minister Freddy Numberi asked his Asean counterparts for a delay of at least six months before the country began full participation in the open-sky policy because the domestic industry was not ready.

Heavy rainfall may delay flights in Makassar

The Jakarta Post | Sun, 01/10/2010 8:01 PM

Heavy rainfall in Makassar, South Sulawesi, may force authorities at Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport to delay hundreds of flights over the coming weeks.

Kintoro, the airport general manager, said Sunday that authorities might delay flights for between one and two hours.

“We will adjust the flight schedules according to the weather,” Kintoro said as quoted by

He added that his office was coordinating with the Makassar branch of the Geophysics, Climatology and Meteorology Agency (BMKG) about the changing weather patterns. (ewd)

Emirates to launch double-daily services to Jakarta

Al Bawaba, 10-01-2010 , 10:19 GMT

Emirates airline will advance its existing operation to Jakarta with the introduction of a double-daily service, effective 1st March 2010.

Presently, Emirates operates 11 flights a week to the Indonesian capital city.

The three additional flights will be operated on Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, using the Boeing 777 family of technologically-advanced aircraft in two-class configurations. The expansion will introduce over 2600 seats per week.

The growth in services follows the recent launch of an additional flight in December 2009, underscoring the increased economic and cultural ties between the UAE and Indonesia.

Senior Vice President, Commercial Operations Far East and Australasia, Mr. Richard Jewsbury noted: “Emirates is grateful to the Indonesian regulatory authorities for their continuing support. Indonesia is one of our most important markets in the region and we look forward to serving the country’s growing demand for air travel services.

“Indonesia is gaining popularity among Middle East travellers, demonstrated by a 20% annual growth in arrivals from the region. On its part the government has taken several steps to promote inbound tourism including visa on arrival for travellers from many Gulf countries. Also, several thousand Indonesians live and work in Dubai and require air transport to visit their homeland.

“In the reverse direction, Indonesian corporate travellers seek connectivity to key commercial centres in Europe, the Americas, Africa and Middle East to advance their trade. Emirates’ additional services will cater to this rising demand on the Dubai-Jakarta-Dubai sectors.”

Emirates recently announced an expansion in Europe bringing its network in the continent to 25 gateways. The Dubai-based airline will launch daily flights to Amsterdam (1st May), Prague (1st July) and Madrid (1st August) offering more opportunities to Indonesian businesses.

Indonesian exports of textiles, leather products, fruit, fish, medical and computer equipment will benefit from the increased access to global markets. Likewise, imports of chemicals, cosmetics, machine parts and foodstuff will receive a boost as cargo-carrying capacity escalates by 27 % to 233 tonnes per week per direction.

A winner of more than 400 international awards, Emirates operates one of the aviation world’s youngest, most environmentally-friendly and technologically advanced-fleet of 143 aircraft. Its rapidly-expanding network spans 101 cities in 62 countries in Europe, North America, South America, the Middle East, Africa, the Indian subcontinent and Asia Pacific.