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Deliveries of Merpati's MA60s resume

Indonesian state-owned carrier Merpati Nusantara is again taking delivery of MA60 turboprops, having resolved financing troubles that had forced Aviation Industry Corporation of China subsidiary Xian Aircraft (XAC) to suspend deliveries.

Merpati in 2006 ordered 15 MA60s and received the first two in August 2007 before shipments stopped when Merpati could not obtain financing for the aircraft. The carrier has since struck a payment deal with the Indonesian government and the state-owned Export-Import Bank of China, allowing it to take six deliveries between 29 November and 3 December, with a seventh expected to arrive on 15 December and the remaining six aircraft in March 2011.

Under the agreement the bank will pay XAC for the aircraft. Then, after five years, the Indonesian government will repay the bank using funds from Merpati, says an airline official.

Merpati's order of 15 MA60s is the largest so far for the aircraft type, according to AVIC.

The airline will operate the MA60s to domestic destinations such as Bali, Makassar, Medan and Sumatra.

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