TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - The Indonesian National Air Carriers Association (INACA) chairman Denon Prawiraatmadja hoped the arrival of the COVID-19 vaccine would increase the passenger traffic in the first semester of 2021.
“We hope that with the first batch of vaccines arriving in Indonesia, there will be an increase in passenger traffic in the first semester of 2021,” said Denon during Tempo event "Ngobrol Tempo" on Monday, Dec. 7.
Indonesia received a total of 1.2 million doses of vaccine produced by Chinese pharmaceutical firm Sinovac on Sunday, Dec. 6. The antibody has been stored in the vaccine warehouse of Bio Farma in Bandung.
The government planned to conduct the immunization program at the beginning of next year, pending a permit from the Food and Drug Monitoring Agency (BPOM) and the halal edict or fatwa from the Indonesian Ulema Council (MUI).
The vaccine availability, Denon opined, could raise public trust to air travel. During the pandemic, the demand for flights plunged by 30-40 percent compared to 2019.
At this year’s end, Denon saw a change in people's habits. People usually preferred to take a vacation abroad. However, due to the pandemic and travel restrictions in various countries, they chose to take domestic trips, he added.
However, Denon said the government’s stimulus in the form of airport tax exemption from Oct. 24 to Dec. 31 had encouraged people to opt for air travel. If the stimulus succeeded to boost flight demand, he hoped the government would keep providing aid for the next first semester of 2021.