The Jakarta Post
Thousands of have signed the petition #TurunkanTiketPapua on change.org to urge Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi to regulate airfares to and from Papua.
As of 9:49 a.m. on Wednesday, 114, 238 people had signed the petition posted by Paul Hendri Eria, who said many people in Papua had complained about domestic airfares because they were not affordable.
He said many Papuans could not visit their hometowns because of the high prices of airplane tickets to Papua. “Not all Papuans who study in other parts of the country are rich,” Paul said in a statement on Wednesday.
“We want to get a good education. We also want to have experience working outside of Papua. But how can we realize our dream if airfares are that high? We also want to learn [culture] in other parts of Indonesia.”
Airfare from Jakarta to Jayapura, for example, is currently priced between Rp 4.16 million (US$288.91) and Rp 5.21 million.
Paul said lower ticket prices to Papua would also allow more peoplen from other parts of the country to enjoy “the beauty of our nature.”
Among those who signed the petition was Astriani Tjandra from Sorong. “I feel the same. I was born ion Sorong and I could not return to Sorong for eight years because I could not afford a ticket,” she commented.
Of a similar opinion was Putrid Arti Lestari, a student from Jayapura, who is waiting to visit her parents back home. Meanwhile, Nurunisa Rauhillah commented that the high airfares had discouraged people from visiting Papua. (bbn)