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Taipei, If We May?

Two Start-Up Indonesian Air Carrier Vie for Rights to Fly to Taiwan.

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Talks were held this past week (22-23 August) in Taipei between a delegation representing the Government of Indonesia and the Government of Taiwan, aimed at establishing rights for an Indonesian air carrier to fly between the two countries.

Seeking to fly the route are the "start-up" Indonesian air carriers Lion Air and Mandala Airlines. The current bi-lateral air rights between Taiwan and Indonesia specifically limit air traffic rights to two airlines from each country: Eva Air, and China Airlines, from Taiwan and Garuda Indonesia and Merpati Nusantara Airlines from Indonesia.

Because neither Garuda Indonesia nor Merpati currently exercise their traffic right to serve the route, the talks taking place in Taipei are considering allowing one or both of the two new start-up Indonesian carriers the right to exercise the Indonesian Government's option to commence services over the route.


As the air talks were about to get underway in Taipei, a Garuda spokesman asserted that the National Carrier intends to soon recommence services to Taiwan. Garuda said their current intention was to fly between Manado in northern Sulawesi and Taipei and between Denpasar (Bali) and Taipei.

The Garuda executive in charge of Communication, Mr. Pujobroto, underlined that while the carrier was prepared to compete with any operator on the route, it should be noted that since halting direct service in 1998, Garuda had continued to operate a code-share service with China Airlines and had kept its sales offices in Taiwan open.

Meanwhile, a spokesman for the Indonesian Department of Civil Aviation has said that, in principle, the Government wants to allow every Indonesian carrier wishing to fly to Taiwan the chance to do so.

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