Mandala Airlines Grounded

INDONESIAN BUDGET carrier Mandala Airlines suspended all flights to 13 domestic and three regional destinations on January 13, 2011.  A spokesperson for the company said the closure is “temporary” and will last between 30 and 45 days while it explores options to deal with its spiralling debts.  Mandala Airlines’ president Diono Nurjadin confirmed it had returned its remaining fleet of three Airbus A320s and two A319s to their lessors.  He also revealed that the carrier’s problems began in March 2010 when leasing companies began demanding the return of their aircraft, threatening to destabilise its operations.  (EC)