TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Transportation Ministry will officially enact the temporary closure of all flights, inbound and outbound, starting Friday, April 24. The decision is taken following the mudik ban.
The rule applies to all types of aircraft, commercial and charter.
"The policy will be in effect until June 1, 2020, and may be extended depending on the circumstances," the ministry's director-general for air transportation, Novie Riyanto, said in a press conference today, April 23.
Nevertheless, Novie ensured that airports and navigation space remain open for five exceptions; flights for leaders of state institutions and/or state guests, or representatives of international organizations, flights to repatriate Indonesian citizens and foreigners, law enforcement operations, cargo plans or passenger planes used to transport necessary goods including medical and food supplies, as well as other flights operations that support Covid-19 containment efforts.
With passenger flights banned, Novie said that state airlines will be mandated to serve passengers for refunds, as regulated by the ministry. Refunds can be given in cash with no fees charged.
"Or by giving ticket vouchers of the same value of the canceled tickets," he said, adding that the voucher must be valid for at least one year with a one-time extension.
The Indonesian government has decided to ban the mudik, which is the annual tradition of urban workers returning to their hometowns during Ramadan and Eid holidays, in a bid to prevent further spreading of the novel coronavirus.
FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA