District Head Denied Seat on Full Flight, Bars Airline From Airport

By SP/Yoseph Kelen on 06:45 pm Dec 22, 2013
Category Featured, News

Kupang, East Nusa Tenggara. The district head of Ngada, East Nusa Tenggara, decided to bar state-controlled airline Merpati Nusantara from landing at Turelelo Soa airport on Saturday after he was refused a ticket on a Merpati flight that was already fully booked.

“It is outrageous,” Marianus, the district head, said on Sunday. “I begged for a ticket for five hours to fly to Ngada and their answer was: ‘The flight is full.’”

He said blocking Merpati from landing at the airport would teach the airline a firm lesson.

“I had a meeting with the Ngada District Council [DPRD] to discuss development in Ngada, including airport facilities enjoyed by Merpati,” he said. “As district head, I forbid Merpati from landing at Turolelo Soa airport because as a state-owned company, Merpati did not support development in our region.”

Marianus blamed the problem on bad management.

“The district chief said that he had called Merpati airline but the flight was full,” Ministry of Transportation spokesman Bambang S. Ervan told Indonesian news portal Detik.com on Sunday. “The district chief then issued a threat and instructed public order agency [Satpol PP] officials to blockade the airport from Merpati flights.”

Merpati district manager Denny J. de Hoog confirmed that the airline could not land at the airport on Saturday.

“We had to turn back to El Tari airport in Kupang,” he said, adding that the flight in question was carrying 56 passengers.

Marianus had demanded a spot on a full flight, Denny said. Nevertheless, the airline eventually found him a seat, but when they called to confirm, Marianus said he had already booked a ticket with TransNusa, a private airline based in Kupang.

Marianus admitted that Merpati contacted him but that he decided to fly with TransNusa anyway.

Denny said Merpati would work with Marianus to settle the issue.

Airport officials said they could do nothing to end the blockade because they were outnumbered by the Satpol PP officials enforcing the district head’s wishes.

Donatus Mite, head of the air transportation division at the East Nusa Tenggara’s transportation office, said that flights resumed on Sunday

“Fights to Turolelo Soa airport have been opened again and flights are back to normal,” he said. “The closing was only on Saturday. Please don’t make it a big issue related to politics because it was just a miscommunication between Merpati and the district chief.”

  • antifreeze

    I seem to remember another one of these feudal warriors, in a similar vein, cut off a whole local village’s water supply because they didn’t vote him to the DPR last election.

    • Martheen Cahya Paulo

      There’s also a similar story from 2009 in Bulukumba, a school was closed because a guy failed to secure enough vote

  • Botak

    If Merpati decides to sue this guy, he would be broke for the rest of his life.

    Not only the Kerosine expenses for returning, and the delayed 56 passengers. As this aircraft for sure was scheduled for other flights and routes, there will be many other passengers waiting and needed to be entertained at the different airports.
    A passenger on the ground cost more than in the Air.

  • antifreeze

    Stand up comedy beckons ….Kudos.

    • Lone Wolf

      Can we shorten his name to Anus ?

  • Leviathan

    “Let s see if SBY can handle….” It starts funny.

  • Lone Wolf

    There MUST be a Very Definite Criminal Charge in this case ! Start with Terrorism, which is what it is.

  • Lone Wolf

    You maybe expect such in Somalia or some other gang ridden thug country. This is a massive embarrassment to the Indonesian people….as of course the World laughs, again. .

    If nothing is done about this, you may as well pack up and forget it, make Queen Atut your leader for life.

  • Pelan2

    Easy, they are all over the place, just look around….