Commercial Airline Resumes Flight, Tickets Sold at High Price

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Mahinda Arkyasa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Commercial airline businesses will resume flights to serve domestic routes within the large-scale social restriction (PSBB) regions and red zones on Thursday, May 7, 2020. However, the airplanes are only allowed to operate to serve passengers with specific purposes, such as business trips and work visits.

    As a result, airlines will not have a normal occupancy rate. To balance out the condition, the Minister of Transportation has ordered airlines to apply the maximum tariffs for flights.

    The provision is regulated in Directorate General of Air Transportation Circular Letter No, SE 32 of 2020 (Circular Letter) dated Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

    "Businesses apply upper limit tariffs in accordance with Minister Regulation No. 106 of 2019," the Circular Letter stated.

    Director of PT Garuda Indonesia Irfan Setiaputra, confirmed the regulation. "Yes, [tickets are sold] with upper limit tariffs," Irfan said to Tempo on Wednesday, May 6, 2020.

    Based on Tempo's observation, the official website of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia has begun to open reservations on Wednesday afternoon, May 6, 2020, with tickets for economy flights are being sold at over IDR 1 million.

    For example, the website displayed that for flights from Jakarta to Surabaya on Thursday, May 7, 2020, passengers will have to pay IDR 1.4 million. While tickets to Denpasar, Bali, are being sold at IDR 1.7 million. For further routes, such as Jakarta to Makassar, the tickets are set at IDR 2.1 million for flights on May 9, 2020.

    A member of the Indonesian Ombudsman Alvin Lie said that the policy to allow passenger transportation, even for non-homecoming purposes, can provide an opportunity for business to have a moment of relief in the midst of the Covid-19 crisis.

    During this period of pandemic, public transport operator is one of the most affected sectors of the economy.

    "No matter how many passengers and income they receive is greatly appreciated. It will surely extend [the life] of the company," Alvin said.

    The government has allowed transportation operators to resume commercial operations starting on Thursday, May 7, 2020. However, it will be provided only for people with certain purposes.

    The people that are allowed to travel are officers working in the field of defense, security, public order, health, basic needs, economy, and for purposes of accelerating the mitigation of Covid-19. Transportation will also be provided for passengers requiring medical assistance.

    Other people that are allowed to travel are people with urgent concerns, such as attending services of the passing of a family member. In addition, people working as migrant workers, and Indonesian or students from abroad planning to return to their hometowns will be allowed to travel.

    FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA