Air Timor suspends links to Bali, blames own gov’t

Air Timor, which from yesterday suspended its flights between Dili and Denpasar (Bali), has blamed the government of East Timor for decisions that led to it losing USD3 million in 2016, the company said in statement in the Timorese capital.

Specifically, the company said in the statement, the decision to grant a license to a third party to fly to Dili led to overcapacity on the route, occupancy rates of less than 50 percent and consequent daily losses of $10,000.

“Over the past eight years, we have built one of the best companies in Timor, we were a big contributor and supporter of tourism and of the government“, said Abessy Bento, director of Air Timor, adding “in a year the government policy destroyed us.”

Inacio Moreira, deputy minister of Public Works, Transport and Communications – who is mentioned by name in the Air Timor statement – told Portuguese news agency Lusa neither he nor the government were responsible for what he considered to be the “internal problems of a private company.”

“Air Timor is a private company and the government has no responsibility for private companies, as it only deals with the regulation process,” added the deputy minister.

In a statement, Air Timor said the government’s decision in late 2015 to grant NAM Air (a subsidiary of Sriwijaya Air, which already offered flights between East Timor and Bali) an operating license, led to over-capacity on the route.

Air Timor also announced it had reduced flights between East Timor and Singapore from three to two flights per week. MDT/Macauhub

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