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Jakarta Post

Batam airport expects spike in passengers over Christmas, New Year

  • Fadli

    The Jakarta Post

Batam   /   Fri, December 18, 2020   /   04:57 pm
Batam airport expects spike in passengers over Christmas, New Year A member of the Indonesian Air Force stands guard as authorities unload medical equipment for a temporary COVID-19 hospital on Galang Island at Hang Nadim Airport in Batam, Riau Islands, on March 26. (JP/Fadli)

Authorities of Batam's Hang Nadim International Airport in Riau Islands predict a spike in passengers over the Christmas and New Year holidays from Dec. 18 to Jan. 4, despite soaring numbers of COVID-19 cases and deaths in the country.

"We are predicting that the number [of passengers in that time period] will be three times the total number of passengers in November," the airport's general manager, Benny Syahroni, told The Jakarta Post on Thursday.

The airport has initiated two service posts to ensure the implementation of health protocol and deployed more port health office (KKP) personnel.

Hang Nadim International Airport data for November show that there were 95,545 departing passengers, 98,632 arriving passengers and 16,510 transit passengers.

A total of 1,017 arriving flights and 1,009 departing flights as well as 67 local and smaller planes were recorded at the airport that month.

As for cargo, a total of 1.38 million kilograms were recorded for cargo unloading and 1.13 million kilograms for cargo loading.

As of November, the airport has recorded a total of 2.23 million passengers so far this year, including 1.01 million arriving and 1.04 million departing passengers.

There were a total of 22,354 flights at the airport over the same period, 10,854 of them arriving and 10,847 departing.

Read also: Govt’s strict travel requirements for Bali prompt holidaymakers to cancel trips

Authorities at the airport have erected two integrated service posts each at the arrival and departure gates and added seven more KKP staff to ensure the implementation of health protocol.

Medan Airport Authority region 2 head Agustono said that, for the Christmas and New Year holidays, trips commonly took place between Dec. 18 and Jan. 4.

"It's predicted that the peak of outbound travelers will be around Dec. 23 and 24, 2020, and that of returning travelers will be on Jan. 3 and 4, 2021," Agustono said.

There would be no changes in the health documents passengers had prepare, he said, while urging passengers to comply with health protocol.

Indonesia recorded 6,689 daily new COVID-19 cases and 124 new fatalities, according to the Health Ministry data from Friday.

The government has banned crowd-pulling events from Dec. 18 to Jan. 8 in a bid to prevent a spike in COVID-19 transmission during the holiday season.

To discourage the public from traveling, the government recently decided to reduce the number of collective leave days for the Christmas and New Year celebrations, including substitute leave days to make up for the shortened Idul Fitri holiday.

Under the new arrangement, the country will enjoy a total of eight days off instead of eleven, namely from Dec. 24 to 27 for Christmas, Dec. 31 to make up for the canceled Idul Fitri leave days, and from Jan. 1 to 3 for New Year. (ars)