The Jakarta Post
Chartered airlines are feeling the financial burden since state-owned airport firm PT Angkasa Pura I (AngkasaPura Airports) began obliging them in October to use services it provides at Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali.
The state firm, which is in charge of managing airports in eastern Indonesia, is exercising a monopoly by requiring chartered airlines to use ground-handling facilities provided by PT ExecuJet Indonesia, a joint venture between AngkasaPura Airports and Switzerland-based ExecuJet Aviation Group, according to Indonesian National Air Carrier Association (INACA) non-scheduled flight service division head Denon Prawiraatmadja.
'There are a number of firms providing the same services at Ngurah Rai. As players, we have the right to freely choose our own ground-handling partner that will help accommodate our operations,' Denon told The Jakarta Post on Friday.
He said the players received a circular from AngkasaPura in September about the requirement to use its services and to land in the newly built private-jet facility that was also managed by this joint venture firm.
'This is unfair as not every chartered player is offering private jet services,' he said.
'[AngkasaPura] charges every player, including those that provide pioneer flights or medical evacuation services, US$6,000 per landing, which is very expensive,' he said, adding the fee was previously no more than $2,000.
He said only 10 out of 47 players in the non-scheduled flight business provided private jet services.
Denon said the association also wanted AngkasaPura to construct a proper taxiway to connect the newly built apron for chartered flights in the southern part of Ngurah Rai, with the existing passenger terminal in the northern part to reduce potential hazards.
Passengers who wish to take non-scheduled services are transported via buses passing through the airport's runway.
'They have to take into account safety issues before asking us to relocate our services because aviation is all about safety,' Denon said.
In response to the chartered airlines' complaint, AngkasaPura Airports spokesman Handy Heryudhityawan said the company would review it and sit down with the association in the near future.
'INACA and its members are our partners and we will be very open to discussing this matter together,' he said.
Meanwhile, he also said the airport operator had no other option but to relocate the operations of chartered players to the private-jet facility as traffic in scheduled flight services kept increasing by between 12 and 14 percent every year.
Last year, the number of regular flight passengers passing through the airport reached 14.4 million, a 19 percent increase from 12.1 million passengers the previous year.
'We do not have any more areas in which to house the [chartered] players,' Handy said.
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