A memorandum of understanding (MoU) was signed by PTDI president director Budi Santoso and PT Merpati president director Rudi Setyoputro, in the presence of State Enterprises (BUMN) Minister Dahlan Iskan, at the BUMN office here on Thursday.
"Four or five of the ordered 20 planes will be delivered this year, while the rest will be handed over in the coming years," Budi stated.
Meanwhile, Rudi said the plane purchase deal was expected to "improve the operational capacity," of PT Merpati.
With the addition of 20 planes, he noted, PT Merpati`s total aircraft count will reach 50.
"We hope that the 20 planes will help the company raise its total annual earnings by at least 20 percent," Rudi said.
Appointed as the chief of PT Merpati in May 2012, Rudi did not provide details about his company`s earnings this year.
"For sure, PT Merpati will no longer have a deficit next year. Merpati now suffers from a deficit of about Rp3 billion per day," he said, expressing hope that the improvement of the company`s management can turn around its fortunes.
Speaking about the purchase of planes from PTDI, Rudi explained that Merpati did not have to spend too much, because a funding company did most of the financing. Besides, he pointed out, the planes would be hired by local governments.
"At least 10 districts in Kalimantan, Sulawesi, Papua and East Nusa Tenggara (NTT) have expressed interest to use Merpati`s planes," Rudi said, adding that the Sampit and Merauke district administrations had already signed agreements to use the planes.