Pontianak Bans Batik Air, AirAsia Flights for Transporting COVID-19 Passengers



Laila Afifa

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  • TEMPO.CO, Jakarta - West Kalimantan Provincial Government imposes sanctions to Batik Air and AirAsia following the finding of passengers tested positive for COVID-19. The ban for AirAsia’s flights to the province takes effect from December 26, 2020, to January 6, 2021.

    The COVID-29 positive result of an AirAsia passenger came out one day after the passenger's flight on Thursday, December 24.

    West Kalimantan Transportation Department head, Ignasius Ik, signed the flight ban issuance to the low-cost carrier for the Jakarta-Pontianak route.

    In the issuance, Ignasius also said that his side will intensify impromptu swab test to the passengers intending to enter West Kalimantan, especially to those who come from the Covid Red Zones.

    Previously, Batik Air also got the same sanction based on the finding of five passengers whose COVID-19 test showed a positive result.

    West Kalimantan Governor Sutarmidji, who is also chief of the COVID-19 task force in the region, said that there was an indication that the test results used by the passengers were fake. It was found in the results of the random test of 20 passengers.

    “We’ve coordinated with Angkasa Pura and airport health office, and all of them let go of the responsibility,” said Sutarmidji, as quoted from his Facebook post on Thursday, Dec. 24.

    He, therefore, decided to ban Batik Air from transporting passengers to Pontianak for 10 days. Yet the airliner is still allowed to fly from Pontianak.

    Sutarmidji welcomes any parties who object to his decision.  

    He asserted that his side is strictly guarding the entrance to West Kalimantan until January 8, 2021. Visitors must bring a Covid-19-free letter through the PCR swab test.

    Read: Batik Air Allegedly Violates Physical Distancing Rule in Flight to Yogyakarta