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A Lot of Slots for Airlines Prepared to Fly to Jakarta or Bali

Indonesia Government Seeking Airlines to Quickly Fill Flight Slots Abandoned by Airlines Once Flying Between China and Indonesia

During the continuing coronavirus outbreak, Bisnis (Indonesia) reports that tens of “slots” or assigned arrival and departure time windows have been abandoned by airlines and left unused at Jakarta’s Soekarno-Hatta Cengkaeneg Tanggeang Airport and Bali’s Ngurah Rai International Airport. 

Faik Fahmi, the lead director of Angkasa Pura I that manages Bali’s airport, said he is in the midst of making the unused “slots” once used for Bali-Mainland China flights available to other airlines interested in operating services to and from Bali. 

“We will prioritize adding international flights for airlines that have pending application to fly to Bali. Bali can handle 30 take-offs and landings every hour that can when needed, increase to 32 flights,” Fahmi explained.

Meanwhile, Muhammad Awaluddin, the lead director of Angkasa Pura II who manages the main airport for Jakarta at Tangerang, estimates there are now 20-25 empty flight slots available each day. These slots are open for use by both domestic and international air operators flying to Indonesia’s capital. 

To compensate for the sudden and significant loss of Chinese travelers, the Indonesian Minister of Transportation, Budi Karya Sumadi, says that Indonesia is prepared to incentivize airlines considering additional flights to Jakarta and Bali. Among the incentives offered include lower prices for flight slot permits, flight route permits, and liberalized over-flight permits. Indonesia’s Minister of Finance will soon announce the details of the new incentives. 

In appraising the current situation, Budi Karya Sumadi said: “This an opportunity for everyone to collaborate. For example, in Bali, many Eastern European Airlines wanting to fly to the Island are prevented from doing so due to a lack of available flight slots. Because of this, we see an opportunity for countries enthusiastic to fly to Indonesia.”

Tourism Incentives 

Indonesian Minister of Tourism and the Creative Economy Wishnutama Kusubandio is also trying to persuade airlines to take up the empty flight slots following the temporary suspension of all flights between Indonesia and China since Wednesday, February 5, 2020. 

Wishnutama bemoaned the disastrous effects being inflicted on the worldwide tourism industry by the continuing coronavirus outbreak.  “Everyone has been impacted by this problem. We have all heard (of these problems) and received suggestions and possible solutions. And, we have been able to discern opportunities on the road ahead,” said the Minister. 

Similar to the Ministry of Finance and the Ministry of Transportation, Wishnutama pledges incentives will be provided, including special rates on “bundled packages,” comprising flights, accommodation, and tourist attractions. Special offers are also in preparation for cooperation with online travel agents (OTA). 

Joint promotion plans are also under consideration.

Continuing, the Tourism Minister said: “We have been asked by the President to provide solutions to the crisis caused by the coronavirus. We have already communicated with the Ministry of Finance, Ministry of State-Owned Enterprises (BUMN), and the Ministry of Transportation to seek solutions to the current problem.”

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