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Jakarta Post

Tens of thousands of flights canceled in Indonesia because of COVID-19

  • Riza Roidila Mufti
    Riza Roidila Mufti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Mon, March 30, 2020   /   02:06 pm
Tens of thousands of flights canceled in Indonesia because of COVID-19 Airport officials take passengers' temperature at I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airport in Bali on March 10. (JP/Zul Trio Anggono)

State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura I has reported that a total of 18,300 flights at its 15 airports have been canceled from January to mid-March as Indonesian airlines scaled back operations in response to reduced demand due to the spread of COVID-19.

Around 14,000 of the canceled flights were for domestic connections, while the rest were international ones.

“The flight cancelations are based on the airlines’ decisions due to a decline in passenger numbers and low load seat factors,” Angkasa Pura I president director Faik Fahi said during an online press conference on Saturday.

Read also: Indonesian airlines carry out layoffs to cope with COVID-19 pressures

Yogyakarta International Airport, for example, serves 18,000 passengers in a normal day. However, lately, its passenger number significantly dropped to between 7,000 and 8,000 a day,” he added.

Angkasa Pura I manages 15 airports in central and eastern Indonesia, including I Gusti Ngurah Rai International Airpor in Denpasar, Bali, Yogyakarta International Airport in Kulon Progo, Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java, Sultan Hassanuddin International Airport in Makassar, South Sulawesi, and Sam Ratulangi International Airport in Manado, North Sulawesi. 

Faik said the flight cancelations also adversely affected Angkasa Pura I's business. 

Read also: COVID-19 impacts across Indonesia’s business sectors: A recap

“The impact to our revenue is pretty significant, as our revenue is now 20 percent lower than our normal target. The revenue decline is expected to worsen if more flights are canceled in the future,” said Faik. 

To weather the turbulences, the company was working on cost efficiency measures that included capping operational costs at airports and postponing the recruitment of new employees.

Faik also said the company tried to boost its revenue through non-aero business activities carried out by its subsidiaries, such as PT Angkasa Pura Logistics and real estate and construction company PT Angkasa Pura Properti.