Adam Air


Adam Air

Infobox Airline
airline = Adam Air



logo_size = 250
fleet_size = 22
destinations = 21
IATA = KI
ICAO = DHI
callsign = ADAM SKY
parent =
company_slogan =
founded = 2003
ceased operations = 18 March 2008
headquarters = Jakarta, Indonesia
key_people = Adam Adhitya Suherman (President and CEO)
hubs = Soekarno-Hatta International Airport
secondary_hubs =
focus_cities = Polonia International Airport
Juanda International Airport
frequent_flyer =
lounge =
alliance =
subsidiaries =
website = http://www.flyadamair.com/

Adam Air, (incorporated as PT. Adam SkyConnection Airlines), was a privately owned airline based in Jakarta, Indonesia. It operated scheduled domestic services to over 20 cities and international services to Penang and Singapore. Its main base was Soekarno-Hatta International Airport, Jakartacite news | title= Directory: World Airlines | work= Flight International | page= 45 | date= 2007-03-27] .

Although sometimes referred to as a low-cost carrier, it marketed itself as an airline which straddles between low-cost and traditional carriers by offering on-board service with meals, but at competitive prices, similar to the model adopted by Singapore-based Valuair. Prior to the crash of flight 574, it was the fastest growing low-cost carrier in Indonesia.

History

Adam Air was founded in 2002 by Agung Laksono, a well-known Indonesian businessman and the speaker of Indonesia's House of Representatives, and Sandra Ang. Sandra Ang is currently indicted for embezzlement in Adam Air's case.

The airline was established in 2004 and started operations on 19 December 2003 with 2 Boeing 737 aircraft leased from GE Commercial Aviation Services. It is named after Adam Adhitya Suherman, son of Sandra Ang.Recently, Adam Air has been involved in talks with multiple private investors, including discussions about the sale of a 20% stake to Qantas, a takeover bid from private equity fund Texas Pacific Group, and a planned initial public offering in Singapore. However, international outside interest has been terminated due to the crash of flight 574.

Indonesian investment firm PT Bhakti Investama expressed an interest in acquiring Adam Air. The company already owned a stake in Indonesian Air Transport, and president Hary Djaja says that "Given our experience with IAT, which has an excellent safety record, we're certain that we will be able to create positive synergies and improve the way Adam Air is run,". [http://english.eastday.com/eastday/englishedition/business/userobject1ai2695477.html Indonesian firm to acquire troubled Adam Air] - english.eastday.com - Obtained March 22, 2007.] Adam Air ultimately sold a fifty percent stake of itself to PT Bhakti Investama. [http://english.people.com.cn/200704/13/eng20070413_366241.html Indonesia's Adam Air to buy 40 new jetplanes] - "People's Daily Online" - Obtained May 5, 2007.]

Following the crash of Adam Air Flight 292 in Batam, PT Bhakti Investama and a business consortium, Bright Star Perkasa which together own 50 percent shares in Adam Air plan to bail out on their investments and sell their shares back to the carrier's founders, Suherman and Sandra Ang. [http://www.thejakartapost.com/node/163863 Bhakti bails out on Adam Air] - The Jakarta Post - Obtained March 17, 2008.] Henry Suparman, investor relations official at Bhakti Investama did not cite any specific safety incident at Adam Air but said that after nearly one year of investing in Adam Air, Bhakti has not seen any significant progress in the airline's handling of safety issues. [http://www.antara.co.id/en/arc/2008/3/17/bhakti-consortium-pulls-out-of-adam-air-over-safety-issues/ Bhakti consortium pulls out of Adam Air over safety issues] - Antara News - Obtained March 17, 2008.]

Incidents and accidents

In 2006, at least one plane skidded off a runway, and two others flew on with serious gear malfunctions when they should instead have made emergency landings. In addition, Adam Air has had four serious events outlined below.

Flight 782

On February 11, 2006, Flight 782, registration number PK-KKE, lost navigational and communications systems twenty minutes into a flight from Jakarta to Makassar. The plane was subsequently flown into a radar "black spot" and was lost for several hours, eventually making an emergency landing at Tambolaka Airport. The pilot in that incident was fired. Adam Air broke multiple safety regulations, including removing an aircraft before it was due for inspection by aviation authorities. [http://aviation-safety.net/news/news.php?field=datumcode&var=200602%25 B737 makes emergency landing after nav and comm systems failure] - Aviation Safety Network - retrieved March 4, 2007.]

Flight 574

On January 1 2007, air traffic controllers lost contact with flight 574 en route from Surabaya (SUB) to Manado (MDC). The aircraft, a Boeing 737-400 with the registration PK-KKW, had 96 passengers and 6 crew. On January 10, parts of the aircraft's tail stabilizer were found 300m offshore.

The flight recorders and suspected debris have been located, but may not be recovered due to a dispute between Adam Air and the Indonesian Government over who should pay recovery costs. On August 27, 2007, both flight recorders were recovered and were subsequently sent to the United States for analysis. [http://news.monstersandcritics.com/asiapacific/news/article_1251905.php/Indonesian_airline_government_battle_over_retrieval_of_black_box Indonesian airline, government battle over retrieval of black box] - monstersandcritics.com (news section) - retrieved on January 26, 2007.]

Flight 172

On February 21 2007 Flight 172, an Adam Air Boeing 737-300 aircraft flying from Jakarta to Surabaya with registration PK-KKV, had a hard landing at Juanda International Airport. The incident caused the body of the plane to crack and bend at the middle, with the tail of the plane drooping towards the ground. There were no reports of serious injuries from the incident. Subsequent flights to the airport were diverted to alternate airports. As a result, six Adam Air 737s were currently grounded awaiting safety checks, but five of these are now back in regular service. [http://www.flightglobal.com/articles/2007/03/05/212401/indonesias-aviation-safety-agency-to-publish-preliminary-report-into-new-years-day-adam-air-crash.html Indonesia's aviation safety agency to publish preliminary report into New Year's Day Adam Air crash despite failure to locate black boxes] - www.flightglobal.com - Obtained March 5, 2007.] Adam Air describes this as "harsh punishment" for an accident it blames on poor weather conditions, but Vice President Jusuf Kalla has said that all Boeing 737-300s should be checked. [http://www.stuff.co.nz/stuff/waikatotimes/3970887a12.html Checks urged after passenger jet cracks on landing] Dead link|date=July 2008- stuff.co.nz - Published Saturday, 24 February 2007 - Retrieved 25 February 2007.]

Flight 292

On March 10 2008, an Adam Air Boeing 737-400 aircraft flying from Jakarta to Batam skidded 75 metres off the end of the runway while landing in Batam. All passengers survived, with two passengers treated for shock. The plane sustained damage to one wing. [ [http://www.aviationrecord.com/search-results.aspx?articleType=ArticleView&articleId=252 Adam Air flight skids off runway - (updated & with image link) > AviationRecord > Search Results ] ] [ [http://www.theage.com.au/news/travel/plane-skids-off-batam-runway-five-hurt/2008/03/10/1205125814352.html Plane skids off Batam runway, five hurt - Travel - theage.com.au ] ]

Controversy

Since the crash of flight 574 there has been much controversy surrounding Adam Air. This controversy revolves around two separate, related issues: safety, and corruption.

afety

The safety record of Adam Air has been heavily criticized. Adam Air has reportedly bribed pilots to fly planes they knew were unsafe. Pilots have reported repeated and deliberate breaches of international safety regulations, and aircraft being flown in non-airworthy states for months at a time. They claim that there have been such incidents as requests to sign documents to allow an aircraft to fly, while not having the authority to, and while knowing the plane to be unairworthy, flying a plane for several months with a damaged door handle, swapping parts between aircraft to avoid mandatory replacement deadlines, being ordered to fly aircraft after exceeding the take-off limit of five times per pilot per day, flying an aircraft with a damaged window, using spare parts from other aircraft to keep planes in the air and ignorance of pilot's requests not to take off due to unsafe aircraft. The Associated Press quotes one pilot as saying that "Every time you flew, you had to fight with the ground staff and the management about all the regulations you had to violate,". They also claim that if pilots confronted their seniors in the airline, they were grounded or docked pay.

Adam Adhitya Suherman, founder of the family-run airline, has personally denied these accusations, and has said that maintenance costs "up 40 percent of our total operational costs,". [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailnational.asp?fileid=20070123.H03&irec=2 Adam Air denies cost-cutting measures] - Jakarta Post - Obtained on January 23, 2007. (Link dead as of January 27, 2007.)] However, this contradicts an earlier statement by Adam Air which said that 60% of its total income is spent on fuel costs. [http://www.atimes.com/atimes/Southeast_Asia/IA24Ae01.html Falling skies for Indonesian aviation] - Asia Times - Obtained on January 27, 2007.] For both of these to be simultaneously true, the company would have to be making a substantial loss, since fuel and maintenance alone would be taking up the entirety of Adam Air's income between them.

Corruption

The Asia Times says it has spoken to "some well-placed local sources requesting anonymity", who claim that Agung Laksono didn't invest any of his own money into the airline, instead using money available to him through his official government position. This allowed him an unfair advantage for receiving heavily regulated licenses and airport landing rights. The same people say that the Ang family has no previous experience in the aviation industry. Adam Air's original advertising campaign contained direct lies, telling passengers to take to the skies with its "new Boeing 737-400s", despite the fact that its two Boeings, on hire from GE Capital Aviation Services, were used and over 15 years old. By the time Adam Air was founded, the 737 "original" and "classics" family, which includes the 737-100,-200,-300,-400 and -500 was already out of production for several years and only 737 Next Generation aircraft were manufactured. [ [http://www.boeing.com/commercial/737family/background.html Information about the Boeing 737] ]

After the incident in which an aircraft with 145 people on board was lost for hours, eventually making an emergency landing in West Sumba, East Nusa Tenggara, some 525 kilometers away from its intended destination, the pilots blamed a malfunctioning navigation system. Adam Air claimed the equipment to be in good working order, and had the pilots arrested on charges of endangering passenger safety. Immediately after the incident, the Directorate General of Air Communications (DGAC) sent instructions to Adam Air to repair the faulty system. Adam Air would then be required to conduct a total of 13 test flights with DGAC inspectors in board before the aircraft could be returned to commercial service. But Adam Air instead left behind a team from the National Transportation Safety Committee (KNKT), who they were supposed to transport to the site, and sent only their own engineers. According to Adam Air, they repaired the fault, and the aircraft was immediately returned to service without any inspection. Iksan Tatang, director general of air transportation, and therefore the country's top aviation official, said at the time the incident was "a serious violation", and promised a full investigation. However, there is no sign of the investigation's findings on the public record, and it is unclear whether the investigation took place at all. Critics say Adam Air used its political connections to get itself out of trouble.

When asked by Tempo magazine what was responsible for the January Adam Air accident, chief executive officer Suherman said: "It was a weather problem. Everything was okay when the plane took off, except for the X factor. We are not God." However, the Asia Times says that due to corruption the real cause may never be known.

Other legal issues

Large numbers of pilots joined the airline when it was founded in 2003, but at least 20 had left again within months over safety concerns.

In May 2005 17 Adam Air pilots decided to resign due to poor navigational systems with which they were forced to fly. [ [http://liputan6.com/view/2,135405,1,0,1168442630.html Belasan Pilot Adam Air Digugat di Pengadilan|language=Indonesian] ] The airline sued all of them since their contract length had not been fulfilled. [http://www.phillyburbs.com/pb-dyn/news/1-01162007-1058803.html Pilots concerned over Indonesia airlines] - phillbyblurbs.com - Obtained January 27, 2007.] Of note is the assertion that Adam Air is not attempting to claim for damage caused by the pilots' public accusations of poor safety standards.

On January 10 2007 there was a report that Indonesian consumer and labour groups were planning to lodge a $US100 million suit, claiming the airline has neglected safety to save costs. [ [http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,21036410-2703,00.html Indonesian airline hit with lawsuit over crash] ]

On February 21 2007 it was reporteded that thirteen Adam Air employees, as well as an employee of airport operator PT Angkasa Pura, working at Soekarno-Hatta International Airport had been arrested for fraudulent data manipulation. The scheme involved manipulating passenger data to show passengers as leaving the country. This meant that they were automatically charged duty at 30,000 Rupiah each, when in reality they owed none. The money was then split between the fourteen staff members. A computer from the check-in desk, as well as passenger tickets and lists, have been seized. [http://66.102.9.104/search?q=cache:GW1CbQz_7f0J:thejakartapost.com/yesterdaydetail.asp%3Ffileid%3D20070221.C02+Aircrew+nabbed+for+data+manipulation&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=uk Air crew nabbed for data manipulation] - The Fakarta Post - Obtained March 1, 2007.]

Warnings and subsequent shutdown

On March 16, 2007, the Indonesian government announced plans to shut down an unspecified Indonesian air carrier. [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailgeneral.asp?fileid=20070316175515&irec=2 Adam Air braces for possible closure after string of plane accidents] - The Jakarta Post - Obtained March 16, 2007.] Although no details were immediately released, it has been revealed that the airline had had a string of recent accidents, making Adam Air the most likely candidate. One official from the airline, speaking anonymously as he was not permitted to speak to the press, said that Adam Air is "prepared for the worst." [ [http://www.chron.com/disp/story.mpl/ap/fn/4636461.html Adam Air Braces for Possible Closure] Dead link|date=July 2008- chron.com - Obtained on March 17, 2007.] It was announced on March 22 that Adam Air was one of seven airlines that will have their licenses revoked within three months unless they can improve their safety standards. [http://www.thejakartapost.com/detailtoplatest.asp?fileid=20070323000649&irec=0 Adam Air escapes license revocation] - The Jakarta Post - Obtained March 22, 2007.] The other six airlines involved are Batavia Air, Transwisata Prima Aviation, Tri-MG Intra Asia Airlines, Manunggal Air Services, Jatayu Airlines and Kartika Airlines. All fifty-four of Indonesia's airlines have been told they will need to make some improvements. [ [http://www.bruneitimes.com.bn/details.php?shape_ID=24881 All 54 Indonesian airlines told to raise safety standards] - The Brunei Times - Obtained March 24, 2007.] .

It was reported on June 28, 2007, that Adam Air would escape closure and has been upgraded one rank in safety rating, to the middle tier. The airlines that have lost their licenses are Jatayu Gelang Sejahtera, Aviasi Upataraksa, Alfa Trans Dirgantara and Prodexim and the airlines that have been grounded pending improvements and facing potential licence revokation are Germania Trisila Air, Atlas Delta Setia, Survey Udara Penas, Kura-kura Aviation and SMAC. [ [http://abc.net.au/news/stories/2007/06/26/1962748.htm?section=justin Safety concerns ground 9 Indonesian airlines] - ABC news - June 26, 2007 - Retrieved June 28, 2007]

As reported on local news, Adam Air reduced many of its flights. Adam Air decreased its frequencies into only several flights departing both from Jakarta Airport and Surabaya Airport. Adam Air has now rejected any booking.

On 16 March 2008, Adam Air was given 21 days by the Indonesian government to decide whether to close down after safety concerns prompted an investment group to unload its 50 percent stake in the airline. [ [http://www.macaudailytimesnews.com/index.php?option=com_content&task=view&id=8519&Itemid=34 Indonesia gives Adam Air 21 days to decide whether to close down] ] The following day, the president of Adam Air announced that more than half of the fleet had been seized after the airline defaulted on payments.

"Out of 22 planes, now we only have 10 because 12 of them have been declared in default. The other 10 have been declared in default as well, but I'm still trying to work out a way to restructure the payments," Adam Suherman was quoted as saying. [ [http://news.airwise.com/story/view/1205792023.html Adam Air Loses Half Its Fleet After Default] ]

18 March 2008, the Indonesian government suspended the airline´s Air Operator Certificate. The airline was not allowed to fly and had three months to show safety improvements. [ [http://www.aerospacemedia.com/site/afp.php?Rub=3&Id=080318123836.6ra5a8kq.xml Air&Cosmos ] ] On 18 June 2008 the Indonesian authorities definitively pulled Adam Air´s AOC. [ [http://www.dephub.go.id/in/index2.php?module=breaking_news&act=view&id=11] - Departemen Perhubungan - June 19, 2008 - Retrieved July 2, 2008]

However, the company has been in financial trouble, even before the government's decision to shut it down, mostly due to mismanagement. The company's owner (Sandra Ang) has been allegedly embezzling the company's money. The financial lost from the embezzlement is reportedly amounting to Rp 2.1 trillion (approximately US$ 210 million). In August 12, 2008, the Indonesian police name Sandra Ang as a suspect for money embezzlement. She has also been barred from leaving the country by the immigration. See http://www.detiknews.com/read/2008/08/12/222342/987501/10/ditetapkan-jadi-tersangka-komisaris-adam-air-dicekal (in Indonesian).

Destinations

External links

* [http://www.adamair.co.id/ Adam Air]

References

31. See http://www.detiknews.com/read/2008/08/12/222342/987501/10/ditetapkan-jadi-tersangka-komisaris-adam-air-dicekal (in Indonesian).


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