Only 70 flights of 79,000 prior to pandemic now operating in Indonesia


Passengers gather in the boarding area of Yogyakarta International Airport in Kulon Progo, Yogyakarta, in this undated handout. (Photo Courtesy of Angkasa Pura I/File)

JAKARTA (The Jakarta Post/ANN): The Covid-19 pandemic has hit Indonesia’s aviation industry hard as domestic and international flight numbers have dropped significantly amid social restrictions and a slump in foreign tourist arrivals.

Finance Minister Sri Mulyani Indrawati has said only 70 flights are still operating of a total of around 79,000 before the virus outbreak.

“All the airlines are currently under immense pressure, ” Sri Mulyani told House of Representatives Commission XI overseeing financial affairs in a virtual meeting on Monday (May 4).

“The airline industry lost income of Rp207 billion [US$13.65 million] between January and February alone.”

She said 240,000 flights were cancelled globally between Jan 23 and Feb 18, adding that 12,703 domestic and international flights in the country were cancelled in the January-February period.

The global airline industry is expected to lose up to $314 billion because of the pandemic, according to estimates by the International Air Transport Association (IATA), as people choose to stay at home.

Statistics Indonesia (BPS) data showed on Monday that domestic passenger traffic dropped 24 per cent in March from the corresponding period last year.

This was the fewest foreign tourist arrivals since February 2009 as the coronavirus pandemic led to a slump in travel demand in March.

There were 470,900 foreign visitors in March, down 64.11 per cent from the same month last year, with tourist numbers from both China and Hong Kong falling more than 96 per cent.

Foreign arrivals have continued to decline since January, with 1.27 million arrivals in that month, and only 864,000 tourist arrivals in February. - The Jakarta Post/Asia News Network

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