The Jakarta Post
State-owned airport operator PT Angkasa Pura II is preparing time slots for airlines that seek to increase the flight frequency for the year-end break, amid the long holiday conundrum.
Angkasa Pura II president director Muhammad Awaluddin said on Sunday that the company and its stakeholders would ensure that flight operations run smoothly over the Christmas and New Year holidays.
“We guarantee that airlines will get additional flight [slots],” he said, as quoted by tempo.co, adding that Angkasa Pura II would also extend airports’ operating hours when needed.
Angkasa Pura II manages 19 airports in western parts of Indonesia, including Kualanamu International Airport in Medan, Halim Perdanakusuma International Airport in Jakarta, Depati Amir Airport in Bangka Belitung Islands, Supadio International Airport in Pontianak, Radin Inten II International Airport in Bandar Lampung and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II International Airport in Palembang, among others.
With additional flights, said Awaluddin, airlines could accommodate higher travel demand during the holiday season.
Extended operational hours, Awaluddin reasoned, would allow for flight schedules to be arranged in a way that avoids crowding.
“Physical distancing can also be maintained at airports,” he added.
Angkasa Pura II would activate security posts at 19 airports, Awaluddin explained, adding that the company had also arranged adequate numbers of operational and service staff to ensure the implementation of health and safety protocols at the airports.
Over the past weeks, the government has been assessing the impact of holiday periods on COVID-19 case numbers.
Indonesia recorded an increase of between 69 and 93 percent in its daily and weekly averages of new COVID-19 cases 10 to 14 days after the long Idul Fitri holiday. Similarly, 10 to 14 days after the long Independence Day weekend from Aug. 20 to 23, Indonesia saw a surge of between 58 and 118 percent in daily and weekly averages of new COVID-19 cases.
National COVID-19 task force head Doni Monardo said on Nov. 15 that the task force had seen a 90 percent increase in new cases following the long weekend at the end of October.
With that in mind, President Joko “Jokowi” Widodo had instructed his subordinates to cut the 2020 year-end holiday period short to curb COVID-19 transmission, a minister said.
Coordinating Human Development and Culture Minister Muhadjir Effendy revealed the instruction at a press conference after attending a Cabinet meeting last week.
“The President has requested a reduction [in collective leave days] in regard to the year-end holiday, including the substitute leave days for Idul Fitri,” Muhadjir said. (jes)
Editor’s note: This article is part of a public campaign by the COVID-19 task force to raise people’s awareness about the pandemic.