Indonesia agents lick wounds from Mandala, AdamAir lessons

WITH little hope of retrieving members’ deposits from bankrupt Mandala Airlines following the carrier’s failure to get debtors to back its debt restructuring programme last week, the Indonesia Ticketing Agents Association (ASTINDO) is preparing to demand better terms and conditions when dealing with airlines.

ASTINDO board member Rudiana said: “With this latest development, we see the case with AdamAir repeating itself once again. We are not going to give in and are preparing a few steps to gain our rights.”

ASTINDO and Association of the Indonesian Tours and Travel Agencies (ASITA) Jakarta Chapter have been trying in vain to recover deposits from AdamAir since it was declared bankrupt in 2008.

“We are preparing to renegotiate terms and conditions with Indonesian airlines other than Garuda Indonesia (which has been using IATA for domestic services), including the deposits and terms of payments,” said Rudiana, adding that they would be working closely with the Indonesia Consumer Protection Foundation (YLKI) and Indonesia government.

“There is no way for us or our customers to know the health of an airline. We only found out at the meeting with debtors last week that Mandala’s total debt was 2.3 trillion rupiah (US$256 million),” said Rudiana.

“The owners can just get away without repaying the money they owe. There must be some way the regulators can prevent such a situation from happening again.”

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