The Jakarta Post
Indonesia has been given an Idul Fitri gift as the European Union ban on Indonesian airlines was lifted a day before the festivities.
The EU's executive body, the European Commission, cleared all Indonesian carriers from the EU Air Safety List, which prohibits a number of airlines from operating within EU member states.
"Following today's update, all airlines certified in Indonesia are cleared from the list; following further improvements to the aviation safety situation that was ascertained in the country," said the EU press release received by The Jakarta Post on Thursday.
The ban was revoked after a positive assessment of Indonesia's flight safety by the International Civil Aviation Organization in October last year and the EU aviation audit agency in March this year, according to a press statement by the Foreign Ministry also on Thursday.
"[It is] the most beautiful gift for Indonesia this Idul Fitri," said Foreign Minister Retno LP Marsudi on her official Instagram @retno_marsudi. "The long fight eventually delivered a satisfying result."
The ministry's Director General for American and European Affairs Muhammad Anshor said the revocation was "the result of the hard work of the Foreign Ministry, the Transportation Ministry and other related stakeholders."
"We raised the issue at every opportunity," Anshor told the Post on the same day. "In a joint committee meeting between the EU and Indonesia last November, we discussed the issue. Eventually, in a EU Air Safety Committee meeting on May 30, Indonesia along with the airlines' representatives convinced the EU [to lift the ban]."
All Indonesian airlines were put on the EU Air Safety List in 2007 because of unaddressed safety concerns over the years.
The major carriers, such as Garuda Indonesia, Airfast Indonesia, Ekspres Transportasi Antarbenua, Indonesia Air Asia, Citilink, Lion Air and Batik Air, were removed gradually from 2009 to 2016, but the remaining Indonesian airlines were still on the list until Thursday.
"The lifting of the ban on all Indonesian airlines from the EU Air Safety List reflects transparent cooperation with measurable standards, as well as the commitment of Indonesia and the EU to improve bilateral relations." (evi)