Aviation Industry is Turbulent Alike


Maintained aircraft at Soekarno-Hatta Internationa Airport

I, as my year-end resolution comes to near every miles of completion. My first flight in the beginning of this year has been no longer to-do-list. For the reason visiting my baby born niece, I booked the airlines ticket 3 months ago en route Jakarta-Malang with addition 2 more flights from Surabaya to Lombok and the subsequent flight Lombok-Sumbawa. I decided to stay in Malang for 5 days before going home for research.

The flight for growing East Java's city become more convenient as aviation industry extends the wings with very competitive growth. My choice fell to Batavia Air due to its fascinating fare when I randomly checked online-price to aim Sultan Abdul Rahman Saleh Airport for an hour and 10 minutes long. Checking-in at Terminal 1C Soekarno-Hatta Internationa Airport is nothing much different, only the day of my departure is less crowded. I am little confused when realizing the printed boarding pass signs to direct Gate C4 meanwhile the flight timetable shows different path, Gate C1. Fortunately the ground staff announces this mishandling so nothing bad happen.

As announcement of departure sounded, all passengers board onto aircraft just in time, good improvement I guess. Flying with conspicuously aged Boeing B737-400 series is no more surprise. Batavia Air, despite of its zero fatal accident record and first EU safety standard, still in progress of effort to revitalize its liveries. The paint which looks more elegant painted writhing dark blue over the end-narrow-body dims its aging-seen aircraft. As it is parked next to GMF base, scattering repaired aircrafts are around us. Garuda's subsidiary maintenance company, GMF, is at its best growth for expansion to fill the demand.

Just not long after disembarking from terminal building, the aircraft posses for immediate departure leaving the runway. Jakarta's sky look cloudy and so does adjacent area.

Batavia Air at Sultan Abdul Saleh Airport, Malang after landing

I sleep some minutes after capturing take-off video and some sky photos. The stewardesses elegantly walk through narrow isle to disseminate very decent cup of water, I expect another decent bread like my previous flight boarding to Surabaya, but nothing happen. It's no matter actually for the price it values. Just few minutes later, the captain announces for landing position amid grey bulky cloud above and around. But nothing to underestimate, my previous flights with Batavia Air with the same or even worst condition, the pilot is always successful passing the storm, something that always makes me impressed flying with. We touch down the runway then immediately park next to very small airport building. Malang airport is now about expanding its terminal by building the new one next to in-operating terminal.

I wait my brother in-law to pick me up. And here I am in Malang again.

The night at home, suddenly online news, TV breaking news, and overheard social media are once shaken by very surprising account of court verdict to sentence Batavia Air bankruptcy. For me myself I think at first it's just rumor. But later the news evolves which convinces me a real badluck. Officially Batavia Air's twitter account informed the decision as well as its official website. Nothing to do but frozen for awhile. I still have one more subsequent flight. Thinking about refund? I am still doubtful as the press releases it is still uncertain, the financial is really not healthy for the company.

This experience is the second of mine as two years ago Mandala Air dumped my refund after its official shut down, before resurrection thanked to financial aids from other parties it is now re-operating again. I never expect more after all.

I do hope Batavia Air will be returning back to Indonesia and regional skies as I trust you to fly with.

1 Response to Aviation Industry is Turbulent Alike

February 1, 2013 at 3:12 PM

I'm sorry to read your planning got disrupted and your money vanished in thin air. It's a shame Batavia A. went bankrupt.

Though it's not the first one which got in trouble. And I'm afraid it will not be the last one either. (Over her Ryan Air had a lot of negative publicity concerning it's safety standards for instance lately).

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