Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Indonesia's Adam Air operations halted

Adam Air logoIt looks like financial difficulties and safety concerns have led to the demise of Indonesian low-cost carrier Adam Air. Budhi Mulyawan Suyitno, director general for air transportation in Indonesia, has announced that Adam Air's Air Operator Certificate (AOC) has been suspended, and all of the carrier's aircraft have been grounded.

An AFP news article reports:
Suyitno said the decision to remove the beleaguered airline's permission to fly was based on the results of a quarterly safety evaluation, which found it made "violations that could put passengers' safety at risk."

The airline would be grounded until it was evaluated again in another three months, and would have its air operator certificate -- a separate safety certification -- permanently removed if no improvements were found. This would therefore move the company a step closer to permanent closure.
Privately owned Adam Air, which was founded in 2003, has been experiencing financial difficulties for some time. Adam Air defaulted on aircraft leases and insurance payments, resulting in the loss of half its fleet of planes. The carrier's financial woes came to a head last week when a major investor, Bhakti Investama, withdrew as a shareholder.

Bhakti Investama's decision to sell its 50% stake in Adam Air followed the airline's most recent accident, on March 10, 2008. That afternoon a Boeing 737-400 aircraft operated by Adam Air ran off the runway at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Indonesia. The accident happened as Flight KI292 landed at Batam after a scheduled flight from Jakarta with more than 170 people on board. Although there were no fatalities, five people injured in the accident were hospitalized.

The March 10 event was the latest of several serious accidents involving aircraft operated by Adam Air. On New Year's Day, 2007, Adam Air Flight 574 disappeared during a domestic flight between Surabaya and Manado. All 96 passengers and six crew members aboard the Boeing 737-400 were presumed to have died.

In February of 2007, Indonesia's Directorate General of Air Communications (DGAC) grounded all seven of Adam Air's B737-300 aircraft. The order followed a 'hard landing' at Surabaya that resulted in cracking and buckling of the aircraft's fuselage.

Here is a list of previous Aircrew Buzz articles about Adam Air: