Merpati appoints Ekanugraha as president-director

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Indonesia's Merpati Nusantara Airlines has appointed Asep Ekanugraha as its new president-director, replacing Rudy Setyopurnomo.

The appointment took effect on 30 July, Merpati says.

In addition, Daulat Musa and Haryo Soerjokoesomo have been appointed as directors in the carrier. The new appointments also eliminate the positions of finance and administration, commercial, technical, and operational directors, adds an airline spokeswoman.

The change in Merpati's leadership comes after the Indonesian government decided in June to sell the carrier to strategic investors following various failed attempts to save the financially-ailing carrier.

Media reports say that the struggling carrier has debts amounting to rupiah (Rp) 6 trillion ($583 million). In 2011, it posted losses of Rp750 billion and received an equity infusion of Rp516 billion from the government to repay part of its debt, reduce its cashflow deficit and improve its competitiveness.

Flightglobal's Ascend Online Fleets database shows that the carrier operates 18 aircraft: nine Boeing 737 Classics, seven de Havilland Canada DHC6-300 Twin Otters and two Indonesian Aerospace C212-200 turboprops.