Garuda Indonesia Calls for More Affordable PCR Tests



Laila Afifa

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  • PCR test illustration. Shutterstock

    PCR test illustration. Shutterstock

    TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - Garuda Indonesia president-director Irfan Setiaputra suggested the government to help lower the cost for flight passengers to undergo PCR-based COVID-19 tests as it would be the requirement in the new normal phase. 

    “We expect the costs will not exceed airfares,” said the president of the state-owned air carrier in today’s virtual press conference. 

    As it had been announced earlier, one of the requirements for a person to travel in public air, sea, and land transportation is by having a Covid-free health report based on PCR swab tests. 

    This strict requirement was issued in the COVID-19 task force circular No.5/2020. 

    However, the regulation states that public transport passengers can choose between two alternatives; PCR test or rapid test, according to the regulations issued by each regional administrations, which vary from one another.

    As of now, PCR tests are still considered to be expensive and are notably above current airfares. Apart from asking the costs to be lowered, Garuda Indonesia CEO proposed to the SOEs Ministry and the Transportation Ministry to increase airfares. This is mainly due to the fact that air carriers will be limited to only fill 50 percent of their entire capacity.