The Jakarta Post
Passengers walk past a Citilink airplane in Kualanamu International Airport (KNIA), Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, on June 11, 2015. (JP/Dhoni Setiawan)
Kualanamu International Airport (KNIA) in Deli Serdang, North Sumatra, has resumed all its domestic routes.
According to antaranews.com, the airport serves flights to 25 destinations in Indonesia and accommodates around 10,000 passengers daily.
“All Indonesian airlines have resumed operations. However, we have yet to serve international flights,” said Fajri Ramdhani, KNIA acting communication and legal manager.
Fajri said the airport offered flights to 25 destinations, including Soekarno-Hatta International Airport in Tangerang, Banten; Sultan Iskandar Muda Airport in Aceh; Sultan Thaha Airport in Jambi; Hang Nadim International Airport in Batam, Riau Islands; Juanda International Airport in Surabaya, East Java; Adisuptjipto International Airport in Sleman, Yogyakarta; Kertajati International Airport in Majalengka, West Java and Sultan Mahmud Badaruddin II airport in Palembang, South Sumatra.
The routes are served by various Indonesian airlines, such as national flag carrier Garuda Indonesia, low-cost carriers Lion Air, Wings Air and Citilink, as well as charter and rental flights.
However, Fari said the domestic flights were still dominated by passengers flying to and from Jakarta.
As a result of travel restrictions and border closures, the aviation industry has been severely affected by the pandemic.
Statistics Indonesia data shows that domestic air passengers between January and August fell 56.99 percent year-on-year (yoy) to 21.6 million people. The number of foreign air passengers in the same period plummeted 71.51 percent yoy to 3.5 million people.
After eight months, Kualanamu International Airport has spotted the light at the end of the tunnel.
Last month, the Transportation Ministry decided on a stimulus package worth Rp 216.5 billion for the aviation industry as part of a plan that includes a passenger service charge exemption and a subsidy aimed at cutting costs and boosting demand throughout the COVID-19 pandemic.
Kualanamu International Airport was one of 13 airports that received the package.
“We hope the stimulus lowers the burden for those who travel using air transportation and reignites the aviation industry, which could spill over into tourism and other industries,” Transportation Ministry air transportation director general Novie Riyanto said last month.
KNIA shared last week that Citilink had proposed to operate umrah (minor haj) pilgrimage flights from the airport.
However, they had not decided when the flights would start.
Fajri said that prior to pandemic, Kualanamu International airport served three umrah flights weekly. The flights departed from Kualanamu Airport for Jeddah and Medina in Saudi Arabia.
The routes were served by Saudi Arabian flag carrier Saudi Arabian Airlines and Lion Air. (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.
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