SRIWIJAYA Air will probably write its own history as an airline that has had the most difficult years in recent times.

After separately from the state-owned company with the largest share in the country, Garuda Indonesia, in 2019, the airline, which has been operating since November 10, 2003 in Indonesia, had to struggle to get up with heavy constraints on the production aspect.

At the beginning of 2020, Sriwijaya was overshadowed by the problem of production equipment, which had greatly diminished after the loss of Management Cooperation (KSM) with the Garuda Indonesia Group.

President Director of Sriwijaya Air Jefferson Irwin Jauwena, in the beginning of 2020, bluntly poured out the condition of his company, which faced many obstacles, apart from the production equipment side, it experienced a drastic decline, as well as the image that had crumbled due to the divorce from Garuda.

The company looks so hard to try to get up with all the obstacles it faces, including formulating a more specific segment targeting millennials and avoiding tariff wars. Not finished with all that, the COVID-19 pandemic hit requiring the company to turn around and tie the belt tighter.

The movement of people who had been restricted became a separate obstacle for the transportation business so Sriwijaya was not spared from the pandemic. But the good news is that Sriwijaya’s image continues to improve, transforming into an alternative flying transportation that does not get many customer complaints.

He played in the “medium service airline” segment and became a “good boy” in the world of Indonesian aviation so that he became an airline that managed to gain a special place in the hearts of the people of the country.

Sriwijaya Air began to be loved until the following year on January 9, 2021, when everything should have gone according to plan turned 360 degrees as when one of its SJ 182 planes crashed from an altitude of 10,000 feet into the waters around the Thousand Islands. So it is not only Srivijaya who is crying but the entire nation is falling into unbearable sorrow.

Shadowed Bankruptcy
It seems to be formulas and formulas that become a scourge that an incident and even a plane crash is the beginning of an airline bankruptcy.

Just look, Malaysia Airline, which in 2015 was saddened by the tragedy that befell two aircraft, namely MH370, whose fate is not even known. Four months later, MH17 was shot down with a missile on suspicion of flying over Ukrainian airspace.

Both disasters proved to be harsh blows to MH’s struggling business and has even reported losses over the years due to intense competition in the airline business.

The Chief Executive of Malaysia Airline even announced that his company was technically bankrupt due to the two accidents and had to immediately lay off 6,000 employees. But luckily, MH was able to improve its business so that it slowly got up.

An airline from Egypt, Flash Airline, was not as lucky as MH, which in 2004 experienced an accident that its Boeing 737-300 crashed in the Red Sea, killing 148 passengers. Not long after, about two months later, Flash Airlines was declared bankrupt.

In the country, Adam Air went bankrupt after having had several accidents and was finally revoked by the Ministry of Transportation in March 2008.

According to a civil aviation observer, Gatot Raharjo, the fate of Sriwijaya Air after this disaster cannot be predicted and it is still too early to project it.

As a private company, Sriwijaya’s financial reports can only be accessed by internal management, auditors, and the Ministry of Transportation so that the public cannot find out the airline’s financial statements. Gatot said that when he joined Garuda, Sriwijaya had good health indicators.

However, in general, the aviation business climate in Indonesia, said Gatot, is very tough, so that Sriwijaya will face various problems to rise. Moreover, he has to restore the image that was shattered by the SJ182 disaster.

Gatot advised the government to intervene if the airline eventually went bankrupt because the collapse of Sriwijaya would have far-reaching impacts. The Indonesian aviation world will transform into an oligopoly market controlled by Garuda and the Lion Group.

A myriad of problems
Even so, several cases were revealed after the fall of Sriwijaya Air SJ 182 when, for example, there were passengers who used someone else’s identity but could escape the flight.

In fact, it turns out that not only one of them did that. Selvin Daro, for example, is one of the SJ182 victims whose name is not listed in the manifest because he uses the identity of Sarah Beatrice Alomau to fly from Jakarta to Pontianak.

In the Regulation of the Minister of Transportation (Permenhub) 77/2011 on the Responsibility of Air Transport Carriers, plane crash victims can get compensation of IDR1.25 billion. This then becomes a problem.

This is because the negligence does not only belong to Sriwijaya Air, which allows a passenger with a different identity to fly, but the fact is that the passenger can pass the inspection at the two security check-in doors at the airport which should also be strict. Moreover, the latest rapid antigen requirements must also match the identity on the ticket. This then becomes an issue that deserves to be considered and evaluated together by the Indonesian aviation world. [antaranews/photo special