The Jakarta Post
Coordinating Economic Minister Darmin Nasution has said he would invite State-Owned Enterprises (SOE) Minister Rini Soemarno and the board of directors of flag carrier Garuda Indonesia for a meeting to discuss the recent surge in airfares, which has been widely blamed for the county’s sluggish tourism.
“Yes, next week we will have a meeting with the SOE minister, the transportation minister and board of directors of Garuda Indonesia,” Darmin said in Jakarta on Thursday as quoted by tempo.co.
They are set to discuss a regulation for calculating the price floor and ceiling of airplane tickets that airlines have yet to follow and has, therefore, done little to push down prices.
The Indonesian Hotel and Restaurant Association (PHRI) previously blamed airlines for the low occupancy rates in tourist destinations across the country.
Earlier on Thursday, Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi reportedly sought Darwin’s help to lower airfares after two regulations he had issued failed to convince airlines to take action.
“I told the coordinating economic minister that current ticket prices [do not support tourism]. The SOEs minister [is expected to] take part in regulating airfares,” Budi said.
He added that Rini, was expected to intervene with airlines whose shares were controlled by the government, namely Garuda Indonesia Group.
Speaking about his initial plan to issue a decree that would require airlines to reserve 20 percent of their seats for subclass tickets that cost 70 percent of the price ceiling, Budi said the ball was now in the coordinating economic minister’s court.
“A subprice is a repressive measure. I don’t want to be repressive. But if I am instructed to do so, I will do it,” Budi added. (bbn)