The Jakarta Post
State-owned railway operator PT Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI) suffered a Rp 1.35 trillion (US$92.5 million) loss in the first half of 2020 amid a slump in passenger numbers due to the cancelation of trains services during the COVID-19 pandemic, data shows.
According to KAI’s financial report released on Aug. 5 on the Indonesian Stock Exchange’s (IDX) website, the company’s revenue fell 38.9 percent year-on-year (yoy) to Rp 7.4 trillion in the first half of 2020.
“The COVID-19 pandemic has caused a slowdown in the global and domestic economies, which significantly affected the company’s businesses. The impact currently being experienced by the company is a decrease in passengers and volume of goods,” the report reads.
KAI shut down all of its long-distance and local passenger train services in April following the government's ban on the Idul Fitri mudik (exodus), and partially restarted its operations on June 12. The operational closures have caused a 43.6 percent yoy decline in passenger numbers during the first half of 2020 to 118.6 million people, according to Transportation Ministry data.
KAI president director Didiek Hartanto said Tuesday that the number of passengers has been steadily growing since the partial operational restart.
“We have started to see trains departing at full capacity, although they are limited to 70 percent occupancy, as regulated by the government,” he said during an online discussion held by the Transportation Ministry.
The company recorded 1.12 million local and inter-city train passengers in July, a 60 percent increase from June. The number of daily train departures had also increased 14 percent as of Aug. 2 to 178, from 155 in July.
Despite the recent progress, Didiek said the company was operating at a loss and that the acquired revenue only covered the company’s operational costs.
“Currently, KAI is still unprofitable even though we can already cover the company’s operational costs. We are working hard to improve the operational capacity in the near future,” he said.
In a bid to boost passenger numbers, KAI also aimed to provide rapid COVID-19 test services at 12 train stations across Java. The list includes Gambir and Pasar Senen in Jakarta; Bandung and Cirebon in West Java; Semarang, Tawang, Purwokerto and Solo Balapan in Central Java; Yogyakarta; and Madiun, Surabaya Gubeng, Surabaya Pasarturi and Malang in East Java.
Negative COVID-19 polymerase chain reaction (PCR) or non-reactive rapid test results are required for long-distance trains passengers and are valid for 14 days.
The transportation sector saw a huge decline in the second quarter of 2020, which has contributed to Indonesia’s economy contracting 5.32 percent, according to Statistics Indonesia (BPS).
The agency recorded that the transportation and warehousing sector contracted 30.84 percent between April and June, with rail-based transportation suffering a 63.75 percent decline.
“All transportation sectors have been pummeled by the pandemic due to the work from home and study from home advisory, which was taken to prevent the spread of COVID-19,” BPS head Suhariyanto told reporters during a press briefing on Aug. 5.