DPR Talks of High Prices of Domestic Flight Tickets

18 January 2023 15:43 WIB

A number of airplane passengers queuing up to get refund and reschedule their flight tickets at Terminal 3 of Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, Banten, Monday, July 5, 2021. During the Emergency PPKM, prospective airplane passengers are required to attach a negative PCR test result and a Covid-19 vaccine certificate. ANTARA/Fauzan

TEMPO.CO, JakartaThe House of Representatives (DPR) Commission V highlighted the high price of domestic flight tickets during today’s meeting with Transportation Ministry. The commission head Lasarus assessed that a limited number of aircraft led to an imbalance in supply and demand in this sector which thus caused a price surge.

“We have received many complaints about ticket prices. This is Kemenhub’s (Transportation Ministry) duty to maintain and encourage the recovery of the aviation sector,” said Lasarus in a meeting with the Transportation Ministry at DPR Building, Jakarta, on Wednesday, January 18, 2023.

He acknowledged that the declining number of Garuda Indonesia’s aircraft affected the national aviation industry. Based on his personal note, the national flag carrier only operated 30 units so surviving airlines with their limited jets used the momentum to increase airfare.

Additionally, state-owned Merpati Nusantara Airlines was declared bankrupt last year. Another state airline, Pelita Air, possessed only a few jets. Consequently, the government faced difficulties to intervene in flight ticket prices.

The number of regional ATR planes was also limited, leading to pricey flight tickets. Lasarus mentioned that the ticket for West Kalimantan’s Pontianak - Sintang route was priced higher than for Pontianak - Jakarta which has a lower trip time of 40 minutes. The flight from Pontianak to Jakarta took one hour and 10 minutes.

Lasarus thus hoped the Transportation Ministry to immediately conduct monitoring of airline business players considering this is a vital issue to boost economic growth. “This must be handled, on how to ease the mobility of people and goods. As we have said, we want to revive from the COVID-19 pandemic.”

Garuda Indonesia earlier stated that it would spend the state capital injection (PMN) to restore its aircraft. The government disbursed Rp7.5 trillion for Garuda to support its restructuring.

RIANI SANUSI PUTRI | FRANCISCA CHRISTY ROSANA

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