TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The skyrocketing price of airfare in the past month is showing a tangible effect. This has even caused a drastic drop in the number of passengers at the Abdulrachman Saleh Airport in Malang, East Java, which eventually canceled several flights.
The airport’s head of technical planning Saleh Suharno recalled 447 flights throughout January to April this year that were canceled by airlines serving the Jakarta – Malang route in order to suppress major financial loss.
“I’ll give you an example, from 1,600 passengers that came here, only 700 of them departed. If the load factor gap is that significant, in terms of efficiency, it’s clearly better to cancel flights,” said Suharno to Tempo on Thursday, May 30.
He explained that Sriwijaya Air dominated the flight cancellations even though the airlines pioneered the domestic route of Jakarta – Malang since May 25, 2005. This effectively canceled 161 flights within 4 months. It is broken down to 36 dropped flights on January, 32 in February, 51 in March, and 42 in April.
Another airliner canceling its flight is Wings Air for its Denpasar-Malang-Denpasar route, while its parent company Lion Air is ranked third with 120 canceled flights. Lion Air flew passengers for the Jakarta – Malang route since November 2017.
Suharno said the average number of passengers from Malang Airport did, in fact, drop nearly 30 percent with a month-to-month drop in January to April up to 29.8 percent.