The Jakarta Post
Indonesia’s largest international airports have stopped flights to and from China following the government's decision to impose a temporary travel ban to prevent the spread of the coronavirus, which was first discovered in Wuhan.
State-owned airport operator Angkasa Pura II (AP II), which runs Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Cengkareng, Tangerang, confirmed the stoppage on Wednesday.
“We have prepared for this matter with all stakeholders, especially all airlines that serve flights from Jakarta to China and vice versa. We hope that this temporary halt to flights will be understood by all parties,” AP II president director Muhammad Awaluddin said, as quoted by Antara News Agency.
Soekarno-Hatta is the only AP II airport that serves scheduled and regular flights to and from China. Before the ban, there had been 16 flight routes from Soekarno-Hatta to several destinations in China and vice versa. The routes included flights to Beijing, Guangzhou Baiyun, Shenzen Bao’an, Shanghai Pudong, Kunming, Nanning, Haikou Meilan, Fuzhou Changle, and Xiamen Gaoqi. During normal service, 143 takeoffs and landings occur weekly at the airport on these routes.
The airlines that offer flights between Jakarta and China are Air China, China Southern, Garuda Indonesia, Batik Air, Lion Air, Xiamen, China Eastern, Sriwijaya Air and Federal Express.
In addition to Soekarno-Hatta, Ngurah Rai International Airport in Denpasar, Bali has also temporarily stopped flights to and from China.
“As of Wednesday morning at 01.00 a.m local time, we have officially suspended the operational flight routes to and from mainland China until a time that will be determined later," airport general manager Herry Sikado said on Wednesday as quoted by kompas.com.
China Southern Airlines flight CZ625 from Guangzhou was the last flight from mainland China to arrive in Bali before the ban, landing at Ngurah Rai on Tuesday night.
In Manado, North Sulawesi, charter flights connecting China and Manado have also been stopped indefinitely.
"The decision is effective now, both for departure and arrival flights," North Sulawesi’s Law and Human Rights Ministry regional office head Lumaksono said on Wednesday.
Lion Air Group spokesperson Danang Mandala Prihantoro said that flights to and from several cities in China had indeed been canceled or temporarily stopped until further notice from the government.
Danang said the affected routes included the Manado to Tianjin and return route, the Manado to Fuzhou and return route and the Manado to Hangzhou and return route. Danang said Lion Air Group flights to China that were still operating were ferry flights for returning passengers only. (roi)