Merpati (MZ, Jakarta Soekarno-Hatta) is among 14 state companies that Erick Thohir, Indonesia’s minister of state-owned enterprises (SOEs), is planning to liquidate, the newspaper Bisnis Indonesia reported.

The ministry’s special representative for communication, Arya Sinulangga, revealed in an online discussion held by the Matangasa Institute, a non-profit educational body, on September 29 that the ministry planned to extinguish the enterprises as part of efforts to reform and downsize the country’s SOEs.

The overall aim of the reform, he explained, is to develop, consolidate, adjust the management boards, disband, or liquidate state-owned enterprises, which continue to play an important role in the national economy.

“There are 41 SOEs that will be maintained and developed, while another 34 will be consolidated or merged, 19 will be included in the PPA [asset management firm PT Perusahaan Manajemen Aset tasked with SOE restructuring], and 14 will be liquidated,” Sinulangga said.

Earlier in February, Thohir announced the reform of its 142 state-owned enterprises, in particular targetting those no longer deemed viable to be preserved.

“Deadweight” companies such as Merpati will initially be offered up for mergers.

“To this day, Merpati is still alive, even though it is no longer operational, and there are many companies like this,” Sinulangga said. “If it can no longer be maintained, there is a possibility we will close it or we will combine it and help with strategic partnerships.”

Founded in 1962, Merpati Nusantara Airlines ceased operations in February 2014 due to cash flow problems, though it has not been declared bankrupt. As previously reported, Merpati missed a planned 2019 relaunch date and has yet to see any meaningful investment amid growing concerns from creditors. Managing director Asep Ekanugraha told the Antara news agency in July that no new investors had come forward in recent months due the covid-19 pandemic and its impact on Indonesia’s already saturated domestic market.