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Flying Merpati Nusantara? Are you sure? LIPPO CIKARANG - Figures from show that the airline with the most canceled flights in their name is Merpati Nusantara. This Indonesian state-owned company, also partially owned by Garuda Indonesia, seems to have a peculiar way of conducting business; selling tickets, canceling flights and then wait for months to pay back the money paid for tickets on those canceled flight. At least it seems that way.

More than three quarters of flights canceled by airlines for tickets sold through are flights with Merpati Nusantara, while the airline only has a small market share among the big players with a nationwide share of about zeven per cent. Among sold tickets on they have a share that is a little larger though, about 11 per cent.

The airline regularly cancels flights with very litte or no notice at all. Schedule changes are also done just hours before scheduled departure which causes problems for travelers, that are not able to find another flight to reach their destination as planned. Very inconvenient for the average Indonesian passenger, but what about the incidental foreign tourist, thinking that the plans made well in advance were the sollution to this kind of problems?

Indeed, they are confronted with a change in schedule or cancelation just hours before their departure. On top of this their foreign mobile number will not be contacted by Merpati Nusantara, leaving as only option an email address. Since Merpati Nusantara will inform about the reschedule or cancelation, they have to 'deal' with this kind of suddenly arising problems. In most cases though, tickets can only be processed for refunds as they arrive at too short of a notice to find a proper sollution.

The traveler sometimes only finds out that their flight is not operated or has been delayed for many hours only when they are at the airport. And this does not include flights that have been moved forward many hours from 17:00 to 06:00 hours, indeed 11 hours earlier than the previously scheduled departure.

Why this kind of cancelations keeps popping up is not entirely clear. The airline has purchased a number of new planes from China recently and has also announced it will purchase another 40 planes with the same company so increase it's network. No word though about improving the current network first to avoid future delays and cancelations.

A plane with technical difficulties in the most eastern region of Indonesia, Papua, does often cause problems fairly quickly. Routes here are only operated once or at most a few times a week and transporting materials from for example Jakarta or Surabaya will take several days. A plane that normally operates a number of short-haul routes here, will be put out of order for a few days with ease in this manner, especially with no back-up available. advises people want to fly with Merpati Nusantara - or have no other choice, something that is very well possible as well - to take into account that sudden changes or cancelations might occur. They should check with the airline headoffice in Jakarta or an airport office nearby about the status of their flight a few days before departure.

A Merpati Nusantara MA-60 plane, produced in China. Arimi Raldi

Related link Related link: - Your website for tickets in Indonesia!

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Related blog entries (category 'Travel') Tags: cancelation, delay, Merpati Nusantara, last-minute

Posted in Travel @ 28 July 2011 14:48 CET by Jeroen · 'Blog' RSS feed · permalink

User icon of belgianguy
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recently I had booked a merpati flight from banjarmasin to makassar...of course the flight was delayed for a full 7 hours, no explanation given, no sorry no nothing...the problem is that they fly routes no other airlines fly, so we are kind of stuck with that airline and their lousy service

Anne Mieke
User icon of Anne Mieke
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User icon of Yogya-Bali
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(Edited) Posted @ 29 July 2011 06:04

Mwah, Maluku was already a disaster with Merpati, what more Papua. No schedule possible. I've once been waiting for a Merpati plane for 4 days and even once 1 week before I could get away of one of the Moluccan islands.
Not long ago family of a friend of mine (from Holland) wanted to go to a specific Moluccan island. They were stucked for 10 days in Ambon city before they could return to Jakarta without visiting this island. Their schedule was too tight and had to return "empty-handed".
A few years ago I even had to charter a plane for a group to get of Bima (which is not one of the most remote spots).
But at least accomodation was provided......

User icon of Yerun
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On 28-07-2011 20:37 Anne Mieke wrote:
No I am not sure. Not only as a result of this report but if not necessary no Merpati for me. If it was for one flight only okay but if a certain flight is a part of a (tight) journey then this is unacceptable. My next journey might be Papua, so for flights beyond Jayapura and Sorong there is no choice except Merpati (and Wings in the western part with often huge delays as well) (like Belgianguy alresady mentioned)
Maybe you could add Express Air to �.???? Emoticon: Smile
Would love to do so,but they do not seem ready yet to process online reservations.. only phone reservations and people that go to their offices directly. A shame, but well.. it's Indonesia.

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