Mandala A320. By Rob Finlayson

Jakarta-based low-cost carrier (LCC) Mandala Airlines (RI) has resumed operations after undergoing financial restructuring last year (ATW Daily News, Sept. 27).

The carrier on Thursday launched its first domestic service from Jakarta (JKT) to Medan (MES). Its first international service is expected to begin April 20 from Singapore to MES, followed by JKT-Kuala Lumpur service May 4, RI spokesman Astriana Ekasari told The Jakarta Globe.

RI was grounded Jan. 13, 2011, due to its large debt (ATW Daily News, Jan. 14, 2011). The carrier said it owed creditors IDR800 billion ($87 million), and cited the high cost of leasing aircraft among the reasons for the debt.

Indonesian authorities cleared the carrier to fly again in February after it completed a restructuring process, which included a cash injection by Singapore-based LCC company Tiger Airways Holdings, according to the Globe. Tiger now owns 33% of RI, while Indonesian investment company Saratoga Group holds a majority 51.3% stake; the remaining 15.7% is owned by RI’s previous shareholders and creditors.

The airline said it will adopt Tiger’s LCC model and will use new Airbus A320s in its fleet. In a change to its previous role as a domestic Indonesian carrier, RI is looking to operate mostly on international routes, industry think tank CAPA reported on its website.

RI was founded in 1969 and owned by the Indonesian military until 2006 when private investors took over.