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Jakarta Post

Indonesian airlines resume domestic passenger flights with strict health protocols

  • Tri Indah Oktavianti

    The Jakarta Post

Jakarta   /   Thu, May 7, 2020   /   07:37 pm
Indonesian airlines resume domestic passenger flights with strict health protocols A Batik Air Airbus A330-300 prepares to evacuate Indonesian citizens from Wuhan, China, at Soekarno Hatta International Airport, Tangerang, Banten on Feb. 1. (JP/Seto Wardhana)

Several Indonesian airlines have resumed domestic passenger flights following a letter from the COVID-19 task force allowing certain people to travel despite government travel restrictions

Service will be reopened gradually this month. 

Garuda Indonesia officially resumed domestic passenger flights on Thursday after suspending them in compliance with the government’s large scale social restrictions (PSBB). The national flag carrier has implemented augmented health protocols. 

“Flight reservations can be accessed through all ticket channels of Garuda Indonesia,” the airline’s president-director Irfan Setiaputra said in a statement on Thursday. 

He added that the company would remain in regular contact with authorities to support the fight against COVID-19. 

Garuda Indonesia will require passengers to provide ground staff with medical letters from hospitals stating that they are COVID-19 negative. The airline will also require state officials to provide documents, including official letters of duty, employee IDs and letters explaining the purpose of travel.

Read also: Garuda Indonesia to test passengers for COVID-19

Lion Air, Wings Air and Batik Air ‒ members of the Lion Air Group ‒ will resume domestic passenger flights on Sunday. 

Tickets for these airlines are available at their counters, call centers and official websites. 

“[We will apply] the physical distancing policy in the cabin by omitting middle seats in the three-seat configurations in economy class. The passengers will either be seated by the window or by the aisle. 

“Meanwhile, in the business class with two-seat configurations, we will apply a zig-zag seating arrangement,” said Danang Mandala Prihantoro, Lion Air Group corporate communications strategic officer, in a statement on Thursday.

The Lion Air Group will perform pre-flight health checks and worthy-for-flight tests on crew members prior to departure. 

Transportation Minister Budi Karya Sumadi said on Wednesday that it would possible for the government to allow all modes of public transportation to resume operation on Thursday to accommodate particular individuals while maintaining the ban on this year’s Idul Fitri mudik (exodus).