Aviation Industry Suffers from COVID-19

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Laila Afifa

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  • Indonesians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship are checked by health officials wearing protective suits as they arrive to be transported to Sebaru island for observation, at Kertajati International airport in Majalengka, West Java province, Indonesia, March 1, 2020. A Garuda Indonesia plane carrying 69 crew members of coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship landed at Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, West Java, just before midnight on Sunday. Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja

    Indonesians evacuated from the Diamond Princess cruise ship are checked by health officials wearing protective suits as they arrive to be transported to Sebaru island for observation, at Kertajati International airport in Majalengka, West Java province, Indonesia, March 1, 2020. A Garuda Indonesia plane carrying 69 crew members of coronavirus-stricken Diamond Princess cruise ship landed at Kertajati Airport in Majalengka, West Java, just before midnight on Sunday. Antara Foto/Muhammad Adimaja

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian aviation industry is limped by a global outbreak of the new coronavirus known as COVID-19. International flights have decreased in number at various Indonesian airports as some airlines canceled routes whilst the government also restrict air travel to a number of heavily-affected nations.

    Soekarno-Hatta Airport's executive general manager Agus Haryadi said the number of passengers sharply declined following travel cancellations and suspensions of certain routes.

    "The volume of passengers in February is usually not as large as a seasonal factor. But this time, the decline is steeper due to the coronavirus," he said.

    In February 2018, Soekarno-Hatta Airport saw 7,258 inbound and outbound flights with some 1.09 million passengers. This year, that volume plummeted to 6,722 flights with just 850,000 passengers.

    Not just aviation, businesses related to tourism are also taking a hit from the Wuhan-originated COVID-19. Hotel reservations are getting canceled, and travel agencies are struggling to cope with cancellations and refund processes.

    Angkasa Pura II recorded at least 1,800 flights through Soekarno Hatta have been canceled for trips between February 3 and March 31.

    "Apart from international governments' flight restrictions, airlines are reducing flights because of declining ticket purchases," Ombudsman member Alvin Lie said.

    KORAN TEMPO