Air Timor suspends links to Bali, blames Timor Leste Government

10 January 2017

Air Timor, which from Tuesday suspended its flights between Dili and Denpasar (Bali), has blamed the government of Timor-Leste for decisions that led to it losing US$3 million in 2016, the company said in statement in the Timorese capital.

Specifically, the company said in a 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% and consequent daily losses of US$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 or 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 Timor-Leste and Bali) an operating license, led to over-capacity on the route.

Air Timor also announced it had reduced flights between Timor-Leste and Singapore from three to two flights per week. (macauhub)