The Jakarta Post
The Transportation Ministry has recorded a 30 percent decrease in air travelers during this year’s Idul Fitri exodus from last year.
The ministry’s executive head of the National Idul Fitri Transportation Command, Sigit Irfansyah, said the data was based on the ministry’s calculation of air travelers from May 29 to June 3 at 36 airports across the country.
The ministry also recorded a decline in the number of flights operated by airlines from 13,921, last year to 9,733 this year.
“Meanwhile, the number of passengers also declined from 1.7 million last year to 1.2 million this year,” Sigit said as quoted by kompas.com.
“Usually, when we talk about the number of passengers [from year to year], we talk about an increase. But this year, the number dropped both in number of passengers and flights.”
He said there were at least two reasons for the decline -- high airfares and the completion of the trans-Java toll roads.
Sigit said that after the completion of the toll roads, people had opted to drive to their hometowns to cities in Java and also in Sumatra. Sigit noted a significant decline in short flights, such as those from Jakarta to Semarang, Surakarta and Lampung.
Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi revised several regulations in trying to lower airfares but failed to significantly lower ticket prices. In response to the government’s decision, airlines had cut the number of flights they offered, particularly to less lucrative destinations. (bbn)