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26-May-2011 11:00 AM

Merpati Nusantara Airlines president questioned over aircraft purchase

Indonesia's Attorney General’s Office questioned the president director of Merpati Nusantara Airlines on 25-May-2011 as part of a preliminary investigation into the controversial tender process involved in the purchase of 15 Chinese-manufactured aircraft, one of which crashed in Papua with the loss of 25 lives (The Jakarta Globe, 25-May-2011). Under the 2006 contract, each aircraft was priced at USD14.1 million but it was later discovered that other carriers had purchased identical aircraft model for USD11 million each. Merpati took delivery of the first two aircraft in mid-2007, but after finding cracks in the fastener of the vertical stabiliser and facing worsening financial difficulties, it considered cancelling the purchase.